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The enchanted parrot ibeina a selection 




3 1924 022 986 115 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 



THE ENCHANTED 
PARROT 

Being a Selection from the " Suka Saptati," 

or, The Seventy Tales of a Parrot, 

Translated from the Sanskrit 

Text by the Reverend 

B. HALE \yORTHAM, B.A 

TRINITY COLLEGE, OXFORD ; RECTOR 
OF DUNTON WAYLETT 

Translator of " The Satahas of Bhartrihari, The 

Hitopadeia " in the Universal Library, 

etc., etc 



LONDON 

LUZAC & CO 

46 GREAT RUSSELL STREET, W.C 

1911 



A.^:n«^|^«^ 



BuTLBR & Tanner 

The Selwood Pkinting Wosks 

Fkome and London 



Contents 



STORY PAGE 

Translator's, Introduction .... 7 

Introduction to the Stories .... 9 

1. Mohana and Lakshmt . . . . -15 

2. Yaiodevl and her Transmigrations . . ■ 17 

3. Prince Sudarsana and Vimala. ... 20 

4. The Stupid Brahman who married a Witch . 22 

5. The Queen and the Laughing Fish . . 27 

6. Sumata, Jayanti, and Ganesa ... 32 

7. The Brahman smd the Magic Cloak . . 37 

8. The Merchant who lost his House and Property 40 



9. The Queen and the Laughing Fish concluded 

10. Devasa and his Two Wives . 

11. RambhikS, and her BrUhman Lover 

12. SobhiM. and the Vakula Tree 

13. The Wily Rajika .... 

14. The Ingenious Dhanasri 

15. What Srldevya did when she lost her Anklet 

16. Mugdika who got the better of her Husband 

17. Gunadhya, the Brahman of ready wit 

19. The prudent Santika who saved her Husband's 

Credit 

20. Kelika who deceived her Husband by pretended 

afEection . 

22. MEldhaka and the Camel 



23. The Son of the Promise who lost all his Money 61 



25. The Buddhist Mendicant 

26. Ratnidevl and her Two Lovers 

28. What Devika did when she was caught with her 

Lover ..... 

29. The Clever Sundari 

30. Muladeva, who saved himself by his tact 

31. Sasaka the Hare, and the Lion 

32. Rajanl and the Bundle of Wheat . 



42 

44 
46 
48 
49 
50 
52 
55 
56 

58 

59 

60 



69 
71 

72 
73 
74 
75 
76 



6 CONTENTS 

STORY PAGE 

33. Rambhikd. and her Four Lovers ... 77 

34. The Brahman, the Girl, and the Five Ears of 

Corn 80 

35. Sambhaka, the Seed Merchant . . .81 

36. Nayint and the SUk Dress .... 82 

37. P<irnap41a the Ploughman and his Master's 

Daughter 83 

39. The Iron Weights and Scales which were eaten 

by Mice 84 

40. Subuddhi and Kubuddhi .... 86 

42. The Lady Tiger Slayer .... 88 

43. The Lady Tiger Slayer, continued. . . 89 

44. The Lady Tiger Slayer, continued . . .91, 

46. The Goblin and the Brahman's Wife . . 92 

47. The GobUn and the Brahman's Wife, continued 94 

48. Sakatala, the Wise Minister .... 95 

50. Dharmabuddhi and Dushtabuddhi ... 97 

51. The Brahman who put the Thieves to flight . 99 

52. The Adventures of Durdamana and his three 

Companions ...... 100 

54. Dharmadatta and his Minister Vishnu . .104 

55. The Cheating Brethman and the Cobbler . 106 
57. Chandralekh& who fell in love with one of the 

King's Wise Men ..... 106 

59. The Stupid and Ill-tempered Rajaputra . 109 

60. Haridatta and the Jewelled Hall . . .112 

61. Tejuka. and the Pretended Doctor -113 

65. The Disciple of the Ascetic and the Meat . 115 

66. The Fowler and the Pigeons . . .116 

67. The Monkey and the Crocodile . . -117 

68. The Brd.hman and the Merchant's Daughter . 120 

69. Vajik4, who pretended to fall into the Tank . 121 

70. The Gandharva's Daughter who was cursed by 

Narada ....... 123 



Introduction 

The Suka Saptati, seventy tales of a parrot, are quite 
characteristic of Eastern story. The peg on which 
they hang is a certain Prabhavatt. This lady's 
husband, whose name is Madana, has gone on a 
long journey. He has, however, left her his parrot, 
a bird which appears to be under a charm. Prab- 
havati, after her husband has been absent some 
little time, begins to feel rather dull, and her attend- 
ants, or friends, suggest that she had better look 
out for some admirer to console her during his 
absence. She accordingly is preparing to start 
on this errand, when the parrot suddenly finds his 
voice, and remarks very strongly on Prabhavati's 
disreputable intentions. Prabhavati makes up her 
mind to have the parrot's neck wrung, but before 
actually departing, and ordering the bloodthirsty 
deed to be carried out, she reflects that after all it 
is only a bird speaking, and tells him that she means 
to go in spite of his well-meant advice. This starts 
the parrot off, and he bids her go by all means, if 
she is as clever as some one whom he knows. Prab- 

7 



8 INTRODUCTION 

hivati asks him who this person may be, and 
wherein their cleyemess consists. This leads to 
Story I, and just when the climax arrives the parrot 
stops, and asks Prabhavati and her friends how 
they think the story ends. Of course they don't 
know, and the parrot keeps them on tenterhooks 
for a bit, and finally tells them. By this time the 
evening is tolerably far advanced, so that it is of 
no use for Prabhavati to set out on her love-making 
expeditions, and she goes to bed with her attend- 
ants. This process is repeated for sixty-nine even- 
ings, and finally Prabhelvati's husband returns. 
From what he gathers, he does not altogether 
approve of his wife's goings on in his absence } and 
seems as if he meant to proceed to extremities, 
when the eloquent parrot calms him down with the 
seventieth story, after which Madana's father ob- 
serves a great festival in honour of his son and 
daughter-in-law, and the parrot, having worked 
out the charm (or the curse), ascends to heaven in 
a rain of flowers. 

Note. 

The tales all begin and end in a similar manner. I have 
given the introduction and conclusion to the first two as 
examples, but it does not seem necessary to go through 
all the stories in the same way. Some of the Tales have 
been omitted as unsuitable for translation into English. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

SUKA SAPTATI 

Homage to Sarada, the abode of Divine 

Wisdom 

There is a city called Chandrapura, whose king 
was Vikramasena. A man of noble family called 
Haridatta lived there too. He had a wife named 
Sringarasundart, and a son — Madana. Madana's 
wife's name was Prabh3,vati, the daughter of Soma- 
datta, a man of importance in the town. Now 
Madana was a bad son. He was entirely given up 
to the pleasures of sense, and cared for nothing 
but gambling, drink, and women. His father and 
mother were filled with grief and anxiety at their 
son's evil courses. One day a certain Trivikrama, 
a Brahman, who had observed Haridatta's afflic- 
tion, went to his house to see him, and took with 
him a confidential friend in the shape of a parrot. 
" My dear Haridatta," said the Brahman, " take 



10 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

care of this parrot, and treat it as though it were 
your own son j I think very likely your grief will 
be alleviated by its knowledge and wisdom." So 
Haridatta took the parrot and handed it over 
to his son, who put it into a golden cage and 
kept it in his sleeping-chamber. One day the 
parrot was in a reflective mood and said — 

" My son ! tears shed from your father's eyes 
for your wickedness bedew the ground. These 
evil courses will ruin you, as they ruined Deva- 
§arma." 

" And pray who was Devasarma ? " replied 
Madana. The parrot said — 

" There is a city called Panchapura, and in it 
lived a Brahman called Satyasarma. His wife was 
Dharmaiala, and his son Devaiarma. Devasarma 
was so intent on the pursuit of sacred wisdom, that 
he forgot all about the duty he owed to his parents, 
and started for a distant country, where he per- 
formed penances on the banks of the Bhagirathi. 
One day when he was on his pilgrimage, it so hap- 
pened that a crane flying overhead dropped some 
excrement on him. The ascetic looked up with 
eyes of fury, and the unfortunate bird immediately 
fell to earth scorched to ashes at his glance. 

" Devaiarma continued his journey, and pre- 
sently reached the house of a Brahman. The 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT ii 

Brahman's wife was sent by her husband to meet 
him, and by his orders reproved Devaiarma for 
having destroyed so excellent a bird as the crane, 
finally telling him to go elsewhere and look for a 
lodging. So Devaiarma put up with the repulse 
and continued his journey, for the fact that his 
breach of temper was known made him feel very 
uncomfortable. 

" At last he reached Varanasi, and went to the 
dwelling of Dharma VyMha, a learned Brahman, 
who had been changed, in consequence of a curse, 
into a butcher. He found the butcher at home — 
a rough, savage-looking man, his hands all covered 
with blood, the very image of the demon of de- 
struction. Devaiarma stood still horrified at such 
a spectacle ; but the butcher bid him good-day, 
and inviting him into the house, gave him food 
and lodging. When he had been refreshed and 
rested, he said to the butcher : ' Tell me, where 
did you and your good wife learn your wisdom ? 
Whence did you gain this divine knowledge that 
you have ? ' 

" The butcher said — 

" ' He who observes rightly the duties that belong 
to his own condition; 

He whose mind is not distracted by outward 
objects, be they great or small j 



13 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

He who obeys his father, who is temperate in all 
things ;■ 

He is the true devotee, he has the true wisdom, 
he has attained to virtue and righteousness. 

" ' Such am I and my wife ; but as for you, you 
have abandoned your father, you are a wanderer 
from your home, you are not worthy of being even 
spoken to by one of my position. I respect the 
duties of hospitality, therefore I have answered 
your question.' 

" Devaiarma said : ' And wherein does perfect 
discipline consist ? ' 

" The butcher replied — 

" ' Those who fail to honour those worthy of 
honour ; 

Those who do not respect persons worthy of 
respect ; 

Those who despise others. 

Such as these do not enter paradise." 

" On receiving this advice Devaiarma retraced 
his steps and went home again. He performed his 
duties, and so became famous in this world, and 
in the next attained to happiness. 

" This is what you must do," continued the 
parrot. " You must do yottr duty in the sphere in 
which you have been placed, and you must respect 
your parents' wishes." 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 13 

At these words Madana repented of his conduct, 
returned home and behaved with due regard to 
his father and mother. Soon after, with their 
permission, he left them, took leave of his wife 
Prabhavati, and started for a far country. His 
wife dutifully mourned his absence for some 
days, when at last her friends advised her to 
stop her lamentations, and try and find some 
one to console her solitude. What they said 
was this : "A father, a husband, are all very 
well as long as they are aUve, but when they are 
both dead, or as good as dead, it is a great mistake 
to waste one's life and youth in tears and lamenta- 
tions. So though you have lost your husband 
you have not lost your youth and vigour, and you 
should make the best of both." 

Prabhavati thought there was something in this 
advice, and proceeded to carry it out without delay, 
by falling in love with a certain Ganachandra. In 
fact, she went on in such a way that the parrot was 
moved to rebuke her severely and said : " Really ! 
such behaviour is too bad !" and a good deal more 
to the same effect. 

Prabhavati was so angry at the parrot's presum- 
ing to advise her, that she intended to tell her 
servants to wring the parrot's neck as soon as she 
was gone ; before starting, however, she waited a 



14 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

moment to offer some betel at the shrine of her 
protectmg divinity. 

While she was engaged upon this, the parrot 
said : " Well, good luck to you ! Where are you 
going ? " 

She thought to herself, " After all, it is only a 
bird," and said laughing, " If you want to know, I 
am going to meet a lover." 

" Shocking ! " exclaimed the parrot ; " I never 
heard of any woman of decent character doing 
such a thing ! However, if your mind is made up, 
right or wrong, I suppose you must go. For — 

" People of low character, when they are de- 
pressed, always try to get some kind of diversion ; 
like the woman of light character who dragged the 
merchant's son about by his hair." 

" And what was that ? " said PrabhEivati, making 
the parrot a respectful bow. 

" If you will make love," answered the parrot, 
" by all means make love ; but before you go, hear 
the tale I have to tell you." 

Prabhavati assented, and the parrot said — 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 15 

Story I 

In a town called Chandrdvati there lived a certain 
Rslja. His name was BhJma. A man called 
Mohana was also an itihabitant of the same town. 
He was the son of a prominent townsman, and was 
very rich. One day he fell in love with the wife of 
a fellow-citizen whose name was Lakshmi. So he 
got hold of a woman called Puma who was a sort 
of go-between in these matters, and commissioned 
her to take a message for him to Lakshmi when her 
husband was away from home. PumS,, who had 
been handsomely feed, did as she was asked. She 
went to the house and said to Lakshmi, " There is 
a man here, in this town, who has fallen a victim 
to your attractions ; I wish you would invite him 
to your house." " Well ! " replied Lakshmi, " this 
seems to me hardly the sort of thing that a woman 
of respectable character ought to do, but as you 
seem to have made the bargain with him, I will do 
as you wish. For, as the sajdng is — 

" ' Hari cannot avoid the deadly poison ; 

The tortoise bears up the world on his back ; 

The ocean endures the submarine fire in its 
depths 5 

Honest people always carry out their engage- 
ments.' " 



i6 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

When she heard this Puma was charmed, and so 
in the evening she brought Lakshmi to her own 
house as the meeting place with Mohana. When 
it came to the point, Mohana was prevented from 
coming by an accident, and Lakshmi, who was 
anticipating some amusement, said : " Well ! if 
Mohana can't come, you had better invite some one 
else." So Purni did as she was asked, and by 
some blunder or other brought Lakshmi her own 
husband as a visitor." The parrot continued : 
" Here was a pretty state of things ; what do you 
suppose her husband did, and what do you suppose 
she did ? " 

Prabhavati and her friends replied : " We haven't 
the slightest idea ; pray tell us what happened." 

" Certainly," answered the paxrot, " I shall be 
delighted to tell you, if you will wait here for a 
while." 

They gladly assented, and after some time had 
passed, the parrot finished the story : " Lakshmi 
at once recognized her husband, and saying, ' Hullo ! 
so it is you, is it ? You have come back imex- 
pectedly, have you ? ' seized him by his hair, and 
dragged him about saying, ' You scoundrel ! You 
are always telUng me that the only woman in the 
world you care for is your wife. Now I have found 
you out, and I will make you sorry for it.' Well, 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 17 

the end of it all was that Haridatta pacified his 
wife with some difficulty, and at last persuaded 
her to go home with him." 

Prabh^vati and her friends were enchanted with 
the story, and as night was now tolerably far 
advanced they all went to bed. 



Story II 

The next evening PrabhElvatt began to think over 
her pursuit of a lover, and asked the parrot for his 
advice. The parrot said : " Go, by all means, if 
you desire to go ! That is to say, if you are as clever 
in getting out of difiiculties as Yasodevi was." 

" And pray who was Yasodevi ? " rejoined 
Prabhdvati. 

" If I tell you," replied the parrot, " and keep 
you here, perhaps you will carry out your intention 
of wringing my neck." 

" Never mind," answered Prabhivati, " be the 
result what it may, I must hear the story of Ya§o- 
devi." 

So the parrot began — 

" There is a town called Nandana, whose prince 
bore the same name. He had a son, Rdjasekhara, 

B 



i8 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

and Rajasekhara's wife was called SaiiprabM. 
Now a certain Dhanasena came across her, and fell 
violently in love with her. He was absolutely con- 
sumed with the flame of his passion, and at last his 
mother, Yasodevi, asked him what was the matter. 
With many sighs and tears he told her. He must 
have the prince's wife. She was very difficult to 
get hold of, but he could not live without her. On 
hearing this, Yaiodevi bid him be of good cheer, 
and said she would see what could be done. So she 
abstained from all food, and putting on her best 
clothes went to Saliprabha, taking with her a bitch. 
She assumed an appearance of grief, and taking 
Saliprabha aside, said to her : ' You see this bitch ; 
well, you and I and this bitch were sisters in a 
former existence. As for me, I had no compunction 
in accepting the advances of my lovers ; you re- 
ceived their addresses, but with some hesitation. 
But this was not the case with our sister. She 
would not have anything to do with men at any 
price ;• she kept them at a distance, and now you 
see to what a condition she is reduced. She has to 
live as a bitch, all the time recollecting what she 
was. You, through your reluctance, may or may 
not remember your former state ; but as far as I 
am concerned, I have no recollection of it whatever, 
for I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And so I am 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 19 

sorry for you, and I am come to warn you by showing 
you this bitch, and telling you her story. If you 
have got a lover 1 advise you to give him all he 
wants, and save yourself from the disagreeables 
of a future state hke this. For the person who 
gives liberally will himself be the recipient of end- 
less favours. It is said : " Those who beg from 
house to house, merely let you know that they are 
there ; they do not ask for anything, for the liberal 
always give alms freely according to their condition, 
to those in need of assistance." ' 

" Sasiprabha was quite overcome by this address, 
and embracing Yasodevi wept over her and en- 
treated her assistance in escaping from the fate 
which seemed to impend. So Yasodevi introduced 
Sasiprabha to her own son, and Rajasekhara, who 
had been bribed with magnificent presents of gold 
and jewels, was quite willing to let her go, and 
thought that a great piece of good luck had befallen 
him. 

" So Yaiodevi by her skill and cleverness cheated 
the prince of the princess, and gained her own ends. 
If you are as clever as she was, go ■; if not, stay at 
home — go to bed, and don't make a fool of yourself." 



20 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

Story III 

In a town called Viial4, the ruler of which was 
Sudariana, lived a merchant whose name was 
Vimala. Now Vimala was the possessor of two 
very beautiful and charming wives, and these 
ladies had attracted the attention of a rascal 
named Kuntala. He set his mind on getting 
hold of them somehow or other, and eventu.ally 
went to the shrine of Durgi, and, making a costly 
offering to the goddess, prayed her to make him 
exactly like Vimala. Durgi granted him his 
petition, and he accordingly went straight to 
Vimala's house and took possession of it in the 
owner's absence. He speedily won all the ser- 
vants over by handsome presents, and made him- 
self so extremely agreeable to Vimala's wives that 
they gave him everything he asked for. The ser- 
vants could not quite make out what it all mccint, 
but they supposed that Vimala had at last learnt 
the fleeting and transitory nature of wealth, and 
had determined hereafter to be liberal. In due 
course of time the genuine Vimala returned home, 
and found the door locked against him. He was 
in a terrible state, and uttered curses and lamen- 
tations without end. While he was thus engaged 
some of his relations came by and he appealed in 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 21 

vain to them : " Come and help me ! I have 
been cheated by the prince of scoundrels ! " 

Presently a party of merchants came by who 
viewed the spectacle with astonishment. They too 
declined to give any assistance, so iinally he went 
to the chief of the police and laid a complaint. 
" Sir ! " he exclaimed, " I have been done by the 
biggest blackguard in the whole town." So the 
poUce took the matter up, and went to Vimala's 
house to set things straight. 

Vimala did not accompany them, but he had 
taken care to rouse their interest in his case 
by a liberal expenditure of money. When they 
reached the house they saw Vimala (as they 
thought) indoors. So they said, " It is all right, 
there is Vimala inside ! " Presently the real 
Vimala, who had followed them, appeared. They 
were rather at a loss to know which was which, 
and the end of it was that a disturbance arose, and 
a good deal of damage was done. 

The Prince Sudarsana got all the blame for this ; 
as it is said — 

" The fire of revolt breaks out, produced by 
tyranny and oppression. It becomes unquench- 
able, and the majesty and the dignity of the 
prince is injured by it." 

The whole matter then came before the prince. 



22 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

and after some reflection he hit upon the following 
expedient. He took Vimala's wives apart and 
said : " Pray tell me ! What presents did Vimala 
give you when he married you ? How much 
money did he give you ? What business does he 
carry on ? What were his father and mother, 
and what is the position of his family ? " 

They answered his questions quite frankly, and 
he soon found out all he wanted to know. Then 
he put the same questions in their equivalent form 
to the two men. Their answers, of course, were 
quite different. So he decided that the true Vimala 
was the man whose answers corresponded with 
what the ladies had told him, and to him he re- 
stored his wives, while the other — the scoundrel — 
was turned out of the town. 



Story IV 

There is a Brahman settlement called Soma- 
prabha, and in it lived a Brdhman, famous for 
his wisdom and righteousness, named Somasama. 
His daughter was remarkable for her beauty and 
grace, but she had the reputation of being a witch. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 23 

The consequence of this was, that in spite of her 
charms, no one could be found bold enough 
to marry her. Somasama therefore travelled 
about to try and find a husband for his daughter, 
and in the course of his wanderings reached Janas- 
thina — a Brahman town. There he came across 
a Brdhman named Govinda, as stupid as he was 
poor, and he prevailed on him to take his daughter 
off his hands. So Govinda married the dangerous 
damsel, infatuated by her good looks, and that 
in spite of the advice of all his friends, who did 
their best to persuade him to have nothing to do 
with her. The union did not turn out a success, 
for the bride was active and lively, while Govinda 
was a dull, heavy sort of person ; so she never 
ceased to lament the fact that she was quite 
thrown away on him. As the sa3dng is : "A 
lord full of all the virtues is no good for a woman 
of life and energy : such energy as the virtuous 
and the ascetic possess is worthless j or only a 
source of evil." 

One day she said to Govinda : " It is a long time 
since I left my parents ; I wish you would take 
me to see them." Govinda willingly assented, and 
cleaned up his cart, preparatory to starting with 
his wife. 

On the road they fell in with a young Brahman 



24 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

named Vishnu, a remarkably smart and attrac- 
tive young fellow. He at once took the fancy 
of Govinda's wife, and an attachment sprang up 
between them at first sight. For, as has been said — 

" Love takes its origin from mutual glances : 
then the feelings are roused and it comes into 
existence. Then follows loss of sleep, emaciation, 
distraction, loss of self-control, madness, folly, 
death. Wise men tell us that these , ten conditions 
are brought about in men by means of love." 

So the traveller wrote to Govinda, saying that 
he was a Br§,hman named Vishnu, an inhabitant 
of the neighbouring town, that he was on a jour- 
ney but afraid to travel alone, so might he go 
with them. 

The stupid Govinda consented without any 
misgivings, and the end of it was that one day 
when his back was turned, his fellow-traveller 
made such an inroad into the lady's affections 
that she fell a victim to his attractions, and told 
him her whole history, her name, and her family. 
Presently Govinda came back, and when he wanted 
to get into his cart they called him a thief and 
declined to let him come in, and after some dis- 
puting, Vishnu committed a violent assault on 
him and beat him severely, assisted by the damsel's 
magical powers. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 25 

Govinda then went into the village close by, 
threw himself on his back and uttered piercing 
cries and lamentations. The villagers came and 
asked him what was the matter. " My good 
people," he exclaimed, " I have been assaulted 
and robbed of my wife by a scoundrel ; come and 
help me ! " At last the matter came to the ears 
of the chief of the police, and he ordered Vishnu 
and the witch-like damsel to be brought before 
him. He asked the pair what answer they had 
to make to this charge. Vishnu replied : " This 
is my wife ; we were travelling quietly along the 
road when we met this man, who all of a sudden 
went out of his senses and attacked us." Govinda 
was then asked what he had to say ; and he made 
as nearly as possible the same answer as Vishnu. 

A soothsayer happened to be present, but to 
find out the truth was quite beyond his powers. 
The question therefore arose how was the magis- 
trate to come to a decision. The soothsayer then 
asked them some further questions, and said : 
" Would you tell me at what time you met on the 
road ? " They both said, " After dinner." The 
soothsayer then took the two Brahmans aside, 
and asked them separately, " What did the lady 
eat for dinner ? " Govinda of course knew, and 
was able to answer the question without any diffi- 



26 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

culty, but Vishnu was quite at a loss, and did not 
know what to say ; so he lost his case and became 
an object of ridicule to every one, while they 
advised Govinda to let the lady go to the infernal 
regions and be rid of a nuisance. For it has been 
said — 

" A learned man given to love and wine ; a 
dancer who dances badly ; 

A devotee who is stupid and foolish ; a parasite 
who is old and worn-out ;• 

A BraJiman who is ignorant of the Scriptures ; 
a kingdom whose ruler is a child j 

A friend who cannot give advice, and who is 
deceitful ; a wife who, rejoicing in her youth and 
beauty, makes love to other men ) 

A wise man keeps clear of all these." 

A man too whose faculties are obscured by love, 
and who, despising common-sense advice, travels 
with his sweetheart along the highway, will cer- 
tainly be attacked and robbed as Govinda was, 
who got into trouble because he would not Usten 
to the advice of his friends. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 27 

Story V 

There is a city called UjjayinJ, and the king's 
name is VikramMitya. His queen was KsLma- 
lina. She was a lady of very noble family, and 
was the king's favourite wife. One day the king 
was dining, with her and he gave her some roast 
fish. She looked at them and said : " Sir I I 
cannot bear to look at these men, much less to 
touch them ] " On these words the fish burst 
into a loud laugh, so loud that it was heard by 
all the people in the town. The king could not 
understand this, so he asked the astrologers, who 
were acquainted with the language of birds, what 
the fish meant by their laughter. None of them 
could tell him ; so he sent for his private chaplain, 
who was the head of the Brahmans in the town, and 
said : "If you don't tell me what those fish meant 
by laughing at what the queen said, I shall send 
you and all the Brahmans into exile." The chap- 
lain, on hearing this, was a good deal upset, and 
asking for a few days' grace, went home. He 
was quite sure that he and the rest of the reverend 
gentlemen would have to go, for it seemed im- 
possible to find any answer to the question. His 
daughter observed his depressed condition and 
said : " Father ! what's the matter ? Why do 



28 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

you look so dismal ? Tell me the cause of the 
trouble. You ^know people possessed of wisdom 
should not lose their self-possession even if diffi- 
culties arise. For it has been said — 

" ' The man who is not overjoyed hi prosperity, 
who is not cast down in adversity, who is stedfast 
in difficulties, such a man as this has been bom for 
an everlasting ornament and protection to the 
world.' " 

So the Brahman told his daughter the whole 
story, and how the king had threatened to banish 
him ; since — 

" There is not a single person in this world on 
whose friendship or affection one can rely : how 
much less on that of a king who walks in the way? 
of treachery. 

" For it has been said — 

" ' Cleanliness in a crow ; honesty in a gam- 
bler J mildness in a serpent ; women satisfied 
with love ;■ vigour in a eunuch ; truth in a drunk- 
ard ; friendship in a king — ^who ever heard of 
these things ? ' 

" Moreover — 

" ' Put not your trust in rivers, in savage beasts, 
in homed cattle, in armed men, in women, in 
princes. Kings are hke soldiers clad in mail, 
savage, crooked in their ways as serpents that 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 29 

creep on you for evil. A king slays with his 
smile J he may pay honour, but he is dangerous ; 
the elephant kills with a touch, the serpent with a 
caress.' 

*' I have served the king," continued the Brah- 
man, " faithfully all these years, yet he has become 
my enemy, and will send me and my fellow Brih- 
mans into exile. It has been said — 

" ' A man may give up something for the sake of 
his family ; 

He may give up his family for the sake of his 
village 5 

He may give up his village for the sake of his 
country ; 

But he will give up the whole world to save his 
life.' " 

When the Brahman's daughter heard that she 
said : " This, father, is all very true, but no respect 
will be paid to a servant that has been sent adrift 
by his master. 

" For it has been said — 

" • A man may be of the highest character, or 
very commonplace. If he devotes himself to the 
service of the ruler, whichever he may be, he will 
get nothing out of it. The king will take the first 
man he comes across, be he ignorant, or learned, 
honourable or dishonourable, into his service ; for 



30 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

kings, women, and creepers generally lay hold of 
what is nearest to them.* 

" Besides this^ 

" ' A man may be learned, energetic, skilful, 
ambitious, well versed in all his duties, but he' is 
nothing without the prince's favour. A man 
may be nobly born, possessed of abiUty, but if he 
does not pay court to the prince he may just as 
well spend his life in begging or perpetual penance. 
One who falls into the power of diseases, crocodiles 
or kings, and the stupid man who does not know how 
to get out of a difficulty, will never keep his position 
in Ufe.' 

" For it has been said — 

" ' Kings are as nothing to those wise and skilful 
persons who by their power bring lions, tigers, 
serpents and elephants into subjection. But — 
men who are wise rely on the king's favour, and so 
attain to eminence. The sandal grove can only 
flourish on Mount Malaya.' 

"All the insignia of rank, — ^parasols, elephants, 
horses, are given by the king to those whom he 
delights to honour. You are the object of the 
king's affection and honour, therefore, my dear 
father, do not be downcast. The chief minister's 
duty is to clear up, from time to time, all the doubts 
which beset the king's mind, Therefore cheer 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 31 

up ! I will find out for you what the fish meant 
by their laughter." 

The Brdhman at this advice felt somewhat com- 
forted, and went and told the king what his daughter 
had said. The king was delighted, and immediately 
sent for the damsel. She came and made an 
elaborate obeisance to his majesty and said, " Sir ! 
pray do not treat these Brahmans so ill : it is not 
their fault. Pray tell me what kind of a laugh 
was it that you heard from the fish ? Still, I am 
only a woman, and I wonder you are not ashamed 
to ask me to clear the matter up. For — 

" A king may be vile, yet he is even then not 
as other men, but bears a divine form. You, 
Vikramjlditya, as your name tells us, are the bearer 
of divine power. For it has been said — 

" ' From Indra comes might ; from Fire comes heat ; 
from Yamajwrath } from Kuvera riches ; but a king 
is formed from Kama and Vishnu combined.' 

" The person you ought to blame is yourself, 
for it is your business to remove doubts and diffi- 
culties. 

" Hear, then, what I have to tell you : — 

" The fish I The fish 1 they laid upon the dish. 
And they laughed when the queen called them men 1 
Would your Majesty know what these verses mean^ — 
Think over them again and again. 



32 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

" And if you can't find out the answer send for 
me. At any rate you cannot possibly doubt the 
queen's fidelity, seeing that she never goes out of 
doors." 

Neither the king nor his wise men had the slightest 
idea what these verses meant, and so the Brahman's 
clever daughter went away, and left them in their 
bewilderment. 



Story VI 

The king spent a sleepless night trying to puzzle 
out the meaning of the verses. For, as it has been 
said — 

" How should one sleep who is overwhelmed 
with debt, who has a disagreeable wife, who is 
surrounded by enemies ? " 

So after a miserable night the king sent again 
for the wise maiden and said : " I caimot make 
out what the fish meant by their laughter." 

" Your majesty had better not ask me," she 
replied, " or perhaps you may repent of it as the 
merchant's wife did when she was determined to 
find out where the cakes came from." The king 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 33 

said, " And what was that ? " She told him the 
following story : — 

" There is a town called Jayanti, and a merchant 
whose name was Sumata lived in it. His wife 
was Padmini. He was unlucky enough to lose 
all his money ;• in consequence his family would 
have nothing more to do with him, for it is well 
known that wealth and friendship go together — 

" ' He who has money has friends ; he who has 
money has relations ; 

He who has money has wisdom : in fact, he is 
a man of importance.' 

" It is said in the Mahabhirata — 

" ' There are five conditions in which a man 
though living may be regarded as dead : poverty, 
disease, stupidity, exile, hopeless slavery.' Also — 

" ' A stranger, if he is a rich man, is a rela- 
tion ; but a kinsman, if he be poor, is an out- 
cast.' 

" So this merchant used to take straw and wood 
into the market for sale. One day he could not 
find either, but he came across an image of Ganesa, 
made of wood. He thought to himself, ' This will 
suit my purpose very well.' For it has been 
said — 

" ' There is nothing that a hungry man will not 
do for bread : and a man who is ruined has no con- 

C 



34 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

science. Such people will be guilty of any crime ; 
what a respectable man would not dream of- doing, 
comes natural to them." 

" So he made up his mind to break the image 
up for the sake of the wood, when Ganesa said to 
him : ' If you will leave my image alone I will give 
you every day five cakes made of sugar and butter ; 
you can come here for them, only you must not 
tell any one how you come by them. If you 
let the secret out, I shall be clear of my pro- 
mise.' 

" He gladly consented, and Ganesa gave him 
the five cakes which he took home and gave to his 
wife. With some of them she supplied the wants 
of her own house, and gave what was over to a 
friend. The friend asked her one day where the 
cakes came from ; Padmini could not answer the 
question, and the friend said, ' If you don't tell 
me, then there is an end of our friendship. For, 
as the saying is — 

" * Giving ; receiving ; imparting secrets ; asking 
questions ; eating in company ; these are the five 
proofs of friendship.' 

" Padmini rephed : ' My husband knows, but he 
says it is a secret and will not tell me ; even if I 
were to ask him a hundred times I should get 
nothing out of him,' The friend replied : ' Then 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 35 

all I have to say is, that you must make a very 
bad use of your youth and beauty, if you can't 
find this out.' 

" So Padmini asked her husband again, ' Where 
do those cakes come from ? ' 'By the favour of 
destiny,' he replied ; ' for it has been said, " Fate, 
if it is on your side will accomplish your wishes. 
She will bring you what you want, even from a 
distant island, from the ends of the world, from the 
bottom of the sea. Once upon a time a mouse, 
making a hole for itself, fell into the jaws of a ser- 
pent. The serpent could not find anything to eat 
and was in the last stage of starvation, but re- 
freshed by the lucky meal he went on his way 
rejoicing. So fate is the cause of man's rise or 
fall." ' 

" Padmini, when she found her husband would 
not tell her, refused to eat. He was put in a diffi- 
culty and said : ' If I fell you what you want to 
know disaster will follow, and you will be sorry 
for it.' Padmini, however, took no heed of warn- 
ings, but continued obstinate, and at last her 
husband was obliged to tell her ; for it is said, 
' When the gods want to ruin a man, they first 
take away his senses, so that he does not know evil 
from good.' 

" Then, your majesty," continued the Brahman's 



36 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

daughter, " Sumati was prevailed on by his foolish 
wife to tell her the secret. For — 

" ' Even Rama failed to recognize the golden 
deer; 

Nahusha harnessed the Brahmans to his chariot ; 

Arjuna carried off both cow and calf ; 

Yudhisthira gambled away his wife and his four 
brothers. 

So often even a good man, in a crisis, becomes the 
victim of folly.' 

" Well ! Padmini got the secret out of her husband, 
and went and told her friend, and the result was 
that the friend sent her own husband to Ganesa, 
who gave him the cakes. Next day Padmini went 
with Sumata to Ganesa for the daily present, and 
he told them plainly that it was no use their coming 
any more to him, for the bargain had been broken 
and the cakes had been given to some one else. 
So Padmini's husband gave her a good scolding, 
and they went home very sorry for what they had 
done. In the same way your majesty should not 
ask me to explain the meaning of the verses to you 
lest you repent of your knowledge. You had 
better make them out by yourself, without my 
help ; " and so saying, she got up and went home. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 37 

Story VII 

After another sleepless night the king not being 
able to find out the meaning of the verses, sent 
for the Brahman's daughter again, and said, " Pray 
tell me the meaning of the verses without any- 
more delay." 

She answered : " You must not importune the 
gods with entreaties or repentance will follow, as 
was the case with the Brdhman who fell in love with 
Sthagika. There is a town somewhere or other — 
it matters not where — whose king is Virabhya, 
and in it lived a Brihman called Kesava. One 
day the thought occurred to him : ' Why should I 
not increase the wealth my father has left me ? for it 
has been said — 

" ' The glory that you gain from your own virtues 
is the truest ; next best is that which you gain 
from your father ; but that which comes to you 
from a remoter source is worth nothing.' 

" So he started with a view of getting more 
money, and in the course of his wandering passed 
through several towns, and places of sacred pilgrim- 
age. At last he reached an out-of-the-way place 
where he saw an ascetic sitting cross-legged in 
meditation. 

" The Brahman came up to him, and made a 



38 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

respectful obeisance. The ascetic ceased meditating 
for a moment, and seeing the Brahman said : ' To 
whom in this world should liberality be shown ? 
who should be protected ? to whom should be 
granted what seems almost impossible of acquire- 
ment ? ' 

" The Brahman rose up from his humble posture 
and said : ' Sir ! To me. I am in the pursuit of 
wealth.' 

" The ascetic knew that his visitor was a Brahman 
and was quite shocked to hear him utter such an 
unworthy sentiment, for it has been said — 

" ' To see a distinguished person begging, in a 
state of poverty, asking for what he ought not to 
want, troubles the mind, though one is prepared 
to give. For a good man, though he may be him- 
self in trouble, performs his duty to another. The 
sandal tree may be broken in a thousand pieces, 
but it still keeps its cooling power.' 

" The ascetic therefore gave his visitor a magic 
cloak, and said : ' Whenever you shake this, 500 
gold pieces will fall from it ; but you must not 
give it to any one, or say where the money comes 
from.' 

" The BrShman thanked the ascetic and departed 
with his cloak. Next morning he shook it, and 
immediately became the possessor of 500 gold pieces. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 39 

He then proceeded on his travels and reached a 
town called Ratuavati, where he fell violently in 
love with a young lady called Sthagik^. She 
could not make out where all the money came from, 
and her mother to whom she confided her doubts 
said : ' Well, what is this Brahman's business, for 
he seems to have plenty of money. How does he 
come by it ? ' So she asked her admirer but he 
would not tell her. By dint of worrying, however, 
she got it out of him, and he let out all about the 
magic cloak. The consequence was that she waited 
till he was asleep and then stole the cloak, and as 
now he had lost all his money, the girl's mother 
showed him the door. It has been said — 

" ' There is not much cleverness required to 
deceive one who has confidence in us. 

Nor is much courage required to kill one who is 
asleep.' 

" The Breihman, when he woke up could not find 
his cloak, and went and laid a complaint before the 
magistrates, asserting with great vehemence that 
he had been robbed. The case was therefore tried, 
and the mother and daughter were charged with 
the theft. The mother said : ' This good-for- 
nothing fellow made love to my daughter. He 
has invented this story about his cloak — ^no sensible 
person could believe such nonsense. The whole 



40 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

thing is a fabrication from beginning to end. 
He came to my house, and my servants finding 
that he was a foreigner turned him out of doors, 
and we sent the cloak back to the holy man who 
gave it him.' This decided the case against the 
Brahman, and he lost both Sthagika and his cloak 
all through letting out the secret, and this may be 
your majesty's fate too, if you persist in your 
curiosity." With these words the damsel got up 
and went home. 



Story VIII 

The Idng was still unable to fathom the meaning 
of the verses, so the next day he sent for the Brah- 
man's daughter. She said : " Your majesty ! You 
should not be so importunate. A king should not 
be so pertinacious, whether the objects at which 
he aims be good or bad. Kings are as the body, 
and their subjects are only their limbs. Still if 
I obey your commands evil will befall you as it befel 
the merchant who lost his home and all that he 
had." " How was that ? " said the king. The 
Brahman's daughter answered : " There is a place 
called Tripura, and in it lived Prince Vikrama. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 41 

A merchant inhabited that city whose wife's name 
was Subhag^. She was a person of very light, 
frivolous disposition, and do what he would he 
could not keep her within bounds. One day when 
she was wandering about the town and getting into 
mischief, she came across a merchant who lived in 
the house of a Yaksha. She "promptly fell in love 
with him, and as he very willingly responded to 
her advances, she made up her mind to run away 
with him. Before going she called a confidential 
maid-servant and said : ' I am going away for a 
bit : directly after I have started do you set the 
house on fire, and my husband will be so taken 
up in trying to put it out that he will not find out 
I am gone. I shall be back again before long.' 
So no sooner had Subhag^ started, than her con- 
fidant set the place on fire, and her husband who 
had had his suspicions of the merchant, left keeping 
guard over the Yaksha's house and came home to 
try and put the fire out. Meanwhile her plan 
succeeded perfectly, while the house was burnt 
down. 

" Thus the merchant lost house and everything, 
and that will be your majesty's fate if you are so 
determined. If, however, you permit I will tell 
you what you want to know, myself." So sa3ang 
she departed. 



42 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

Story IX 

Next morning the king, who was still quite unable 
to find the answer, sent for the Br^man's daughter 
and said : " You promised to tell me the meaning 
of those verses ; for I cannot make out what they 
mean myself." The girl replied : " If you cannot 
find out the meaning, then listen to me. You have 
among your soothsayers and wise men, one called 
Pushpakara. He is their head. I believe he is a 
very prudent discreet person. Tell me — ^why is 
he called Pushpakara." The king replied : "He 
is rightly called Pushpakira, because when he 
smiles it seems as if a shower of blossoms fell from 
his countenance. This was reported to be his char- 
acteristic, and so messengers were sent to fetch 
him to prove the truth of this report about him. 
When he came he neither laughed nor was there 
any shower of blossoms that fell from him, and 
for that reason they call him ' The bond of secrecy.' " 
The BrSJiman's daughter said : " And why did not 
Pushpakara laugh ? Do you know the reason ? " 
" I haven't the least idea," replied the king. " Then 
you should make him tell you," rejoined the Brdh- 
man's daughter, " for, it has been said — 

" ' A king should gain a kingdom by righteous- 
ness ; 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 43 

In righteousness he should rule it ; 

By righteousness the king guards his subjects 
from harm and becomes their refuge.' 

" You have asked me what the fish meant by 
laughing. You ask him the same question. Per- 
haps he will answer it and tell you at the same time 
why he did not laugh himself." 
■ So the king sent for Pushpakara, and as he was 
a wise man, and of some importance, he made him 
valuable presents and asked him why he did not 
laugh, and why the fish did. He rephed : " Family 
scandals should not be talked about. Loss of 
money, sorrow of mind, difficulties at home, fraud, 
contempt — ^these are things which no wise man 
ever publishes. Still the command of the king 
must be obeyed ; for the glory of a king, equal to 
that of Sudra, has surpassing power on the earth ; 
the very name of a righteous, energetic king, 
surpasses the sun in magnificence. Therefore I 
will answer your majesty's question. I found out 
that my wife was in love with some one else, and 
therefore grief stopped my laughter." 

Then the king put his own difficulty before the 
wise man, and the latter gave no answer but struck 
the queen full in the face. The queen pretended 
to faint, and Pushpakslra burst into a fit of laughter. 
The king was extremely angry and looking at the 



44 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

magician and the Brahman's daughter, said, " What 
is there to laugh at ? What do you mean by this ? " 
" Sir," replied the magician making a profound 
bow, " the queen did not faint the other night when 
she was struck by the young men in whose com- 
pany she was. Now when I strike her she faints, 
or pretends to faint." The king grew still more 
angry and said, " What is this ? do you know it 
of your own knowledge ? " The magician an- 
swered, " I saw it with my own eyes, and if your 
majesty is not convinced I will prove it to you." 
The king went into the matter and found out every- 
thing. The magician said, " I suppose your majesty 
sees now why the Brahman's daughter would not 
tell you the reason why the fish laughed." The 
end of it was that Pushpakdra and the Brahman's 
daughter were sent home in a considerable state of 
trepidation, while the queen and her lovers were 
sewn up in a sack, and thrown into the river. 



Story X 

In a town called R§,japura lived a paterfamilias 
whose name was Devasa. He had two wives, 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 45 

Sringaravati and Subhagd. They were both ladies 
of a very amorous disposition, and were continually 
engaged in flirtations with one admirer or another, 
which they were mutually careful to conceal from 
their husband. One day Subhagi was entertaining 
a lover in the house when her husband appeared 
outside, carrying a shrub in his hand which he had 
dug up. Here was a pretty state of things ; what 
was to be done ! Sring3,ravati's readiness, however, 
did not fail her, and after having stripped off most 
of Subhaga's clothes, turned her out of doors. 
Her husband came up and seeing SubhagS, in this 
condition said : " And pray, what is the meaning 
of this." " The truth is," answered Sringaravati, 
" Subhaga saw you coming in carrying that shrub 
in your hand, and directly she saw it she went 
mad, tore off her clothes, and ran out of doors. 
Do go and put it back again in the place from which 
you took it. Perhaps if you do she may recover 
her wits." The stupid man did as he was asked, 
and directly his back was turned they let the lover 
out of the house. 



46 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

Story XI 

In a village called Dabhila lived a rustic whose"name 
was Vilochana. His wife was called RambhikS, ; 
she was a frivolous, ill-conducted person, but no 
one ventured to take advantage of her, because her 
husband was very stern and disagreeable. One 
day she went to the well to draw some water and 
saw a very good-looking young man — the son of a 
Brahman — the other side of the road. She greeted 
him with a glance, and he, being well versed in the 
language of the eyes, readily responded. For it is 
said : — 

" Even an animal knows what you mean if you 
speak out j 

Elephants and horses go forward at the word of 
command ; 

But a man of wisdom can divine the unspoken 
word ; 

For him a hint is sufficient." 

So he went up to the lady and said : " Well, 
what do you want with me ? " " Follow me," 
she replied. " Come to our house and pay your 
respects to my husband : I will manage all the rest. 
Mind you are very polite ! " 

So saying, she started off with the young Brah- 
man behind her. Her husband was a little aston- 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 47 

ished when he saw her returning home with a 
strange young man, but she came up to him and 
said, " Let me introduce this gentleman to you." 

" And pray," said he, " who may he be ? " 

" He is my brother," she answered, " I have 
not seen him since we were quite children ; he has 
come here to pay me a visit and I want to hear 
how all my relations are getting on." The young 
man took care to tell exactly the same story as 
Rambhika, and Vilochana, who was charmed with 
his manners and politeness, begged him to make 
himself quite at home. So Rambhika entertained 
him to the best of her ability. Presently her hus- 
band went off to bed. Rambhika thereupon began 
to redouble her attentions to her visitor, but he 
remonstrated, saying, " Oh 1 this won't do at all ! 
Did you not say that I was your brother ? If so 
you are my sister, and you have got all you want." 
" Don't talk such nonsense," she replied ; '•' has it 
not been said — 

" ' He who rejects the advances of a beautiful 
damsel, and despises her sighs, is fit only for the 
infernal regions ' ? " 

With these words she uttered a piercing shriek, 
and woke up her husband. 

The young man, terrified at what was going to 
happen, fell at her feet, and promised her that if 



48 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

she would spare his life he would do anything she 
wanted. So she took some meal and milk that 
was standing near, lighted a candle, and was stirring 
them up when her husband came in. She said, 
" Don't disturb yourself ! My brother has a fit of 
the colic, and I was so frightened that I screamed 
out, and I am making this mixture to try and ease 
him." Her fool of a husband saw what she was 
doing, and believing her story went back to bed. 
The young Brahman, under pretence of illness, 
remained a whole month in the house, greatly to 
his own and Rambhiki's satisfaction. 



Story XII - 

There is a village called Naluda, and in it lived 
a very rich potter. His wife Sobhika was a person 
of very indifferent reputation, and fond of attract- 
ing notice. One day when her husband was 
away from home she was entertaining one of her 
lovers, when the master of the house returned 
unexpectedly. She was put into a considerable 
difficulty, but retaining her presence of mind, she 
took her lover to a vakula tree, which grew just 
outside the house, and said, " CUmb up at once 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 49 

into that tree and hide yourself ; " which he did, 
leaving his coat on the ground at the foot of the 
tree. Presently her husband came up, and seeing 
the coat said : " Hullo ! what is this ? " " Oh 1 
nothing," replied his wife ; " it is only the coat 
of a man who is escaping from his creditors, and he 
climbed up into this tree in such a hurry to get out 
of their way that he left his coat behind him." 
When the potter heard this he called to the man 
who was up the tree and bid him come down. 
Accordingly the quasi-fugitive came down with 
some misgivings, but they were quickly dispelled, 
for the lady's husband invited him into the house 
and entertained him hospitably, while Sobhikci 
was delighted at the success of her stratagem. 



Story XIII 

In a town called Nagapura there lived a merchant 
whose wife was RajikaL. She was a good-looking 
but a frivolous person, though her husband knew 
nothing about the way in which she used to go on. 
One day he had gone to dinner, when she saw 
one of her admirers coming, whom she had invited 
to come and see her. So she went to her husband 



50 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

and said, " There is no butter in the house j I 
must go and buy some." He gave her the money 
and off she started under the pretence of bu5nng 
the butter, and went for a walk with her lover. 
Meanwhile her husband waited for her return, every 
moment getting more hungry and more angry. At 
last she was obliged to return, so she covered her 
head and hands, and the small coin her husband 
had given her with which to buy the butter, with 
dust. When she appeared her husband met her, 
and being by this time boiling over with wrath, 
he exclaimed : " What have you been about ? 
What is the meaning of this delay ? " With tears 
and sobs she pointed to the dust with which she 
was covered and said, " Pray, don't be angry ! I 
dropped the money in the dust, and I have been 
all this time looking for it : please brush the dust 
off me." Her husband, moved by her lamenta- 
tions, was ashamed of his anger, and brushed oft 
the dust with all kinds of endearing expressions. 



Story XIV 

There is a city called Padmavati: a merchant 
lived there whose name was Dhanapala, and he 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 51 

had a wife — Dhana^ri — of whom he was extremely 
fond. One day this merchant went away on 
business to a distant country, taking with him a 
large sum of money. 

After his departure his wife remained indoors 
in a state of grief : she neither ate, nor bathed, nor 
spoke to her friends. She neglected herself, and 
took no trouble about her personal appearance. 

The soft note of the cuckoo borne on the breeze 
from Malaya : the soothing hum of the bees : the 
scent of the jasmine : these fall upon our senses. 
If Spring moves us not with such scents and sounds 
then her coming is only as the coming of the king 
of death. At such a time as this even the mind 
of the temperate undergoes a change. One of 
Dhana^ri's friends said to her : " My love ! don't 
waste your youth and beauty ! Listen to me ! 
The cuckoo, the lord of love, is speaking to you in 
his sweet low note. The Spring covers the face 
of the earth. Put all pride away. Women should 
accept the honour due to them. Youth passes. 
Life is uncertain. Enjoy yourself while you may." 
At these words she exclaimed, " I can no longer 
delay ! tell me ! what shall I do ? " A lover 
came by and she followed him. While she was in 
his company he cut off her lock of hair, and just at 
that moment her husband returned. Reflecting 



52 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

for a moment, she said to him, "Wait a minute 
or two outside, till I have got the house into order ! " 
and running to the shrine of her protecting deity, 
she laid the lock of hair at the foot of the image. 
Then she brought her husband into the house, 
and with slow, deliberate steps, led him to the 
shrine, and said : " My husband 1 offer your thanks- 
giving to the goddess ! " He did so j meanwhile 
he saw the lock of hair and said to his wife, " What 
is this ? " " This," she repUed, " is the fulfilment 
of my vow. I promised the goddess that I would 
offer her a lock of my hair, if she would bring you 
back safe and sound. You have returned, and 
I have kept my promise." On this her stupid 
husband worshipped the goddess with great venera- 
tion, and lavished more affection than ever on his 
wife. 



Story XV 

There is a city called Salipura and in it dwelt a 
merchant who had a son named Gunakara. The 
son's wife's name was Sridevya and she had a 
hankering after a man called Subuddhi. Her 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 53 

flirtations were the talk of the whole place, but her 
husband was so devoted to her that he would not 
listen to a word against her. For it has been 
said — 

" Friends can see only virtues : enemies only 
vices." 

One day her father-in-law found her asleep with 
one of her admirers, and without waking her he 
took off one of her anklets. Soon after this she 
woke up and found the anklet was gone, so she said 
nothing about it, but went straight off and joined 
her husband who was in bed. In the middle of 
the night she woke him up and said : " Your father, 
thinking I was asleep, came in and stole one of the 
anklets off my feet. This is most insulting ! who 
ever heard of a father-in-law stealing his daughter- 
in-law's anklets ? " So Gunakara got up in a 
great rage and fell foul of his father for having 
stolen his wife's anklet. " Well," replied the 
father, " the truth is, that I found your wife asleep 
with some one else, and I took the anklet off her 
foot." Sridevya answered, "This is absolutely 
untrue, for at this particular time I was with my 
husband. I am perfectly willing to prove the 
truth of what I say by the ordeal." Now this 
was the ordeal. In a village a short distance off, 
lived a famous Yaksha : suspected persons were 



54 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

taken before the Yaksha, who seized hold of them.and 
if they were innocent of the charge brought against 
them they escaped out of his clutches safe and sound. 
So the good-for-nothing woman being run to earth 
by her father-in-law, went to her lover and said, 
" To-morrow morning I have to go through the 
ordeal before the Yaksha. Mind you are there, 
and just before I go up to the Yaksha, seize me 
round the neck." He didn't quite see the point 
of it, but agreed to do as he was told. Next day 
Sridevya, accompanied by a great crowd of people, 
having bathed took some fresh flowers, and went 
before the Yaksha. As she was coming up to him 
her lover came forward and according to the arrange- 
ment seized her round the neck with both arms. 
She uttered a loud shriek and rushed off to go 
through some rites of purification, while her assailant 
was driven off by the bystanders. After com- 
pleting her purification she came back, and offering 
the flowers respectfully to the Yaksha said : " Sir ! 
your reverence ! With the exception of my hus- 
band, and that man who just now seized me by the 
neck, no man has ever come near me. If I do 
not speak the truth may I suffer the just penalty." 
So sa5dng she submitted to the ordeal and escaped 
without injury. The Yaksha, who saw through 
the whole business, said nothing, but silently 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 55 

applauded her cleverness, and she returned home 
with her reputation fully established. 



Story XVI 

There is a certain town in which lived a 
merchant who had a wife called MugdhikS.. She 
was a flighty and self-willed kind of person. Her 
husband was very much dissatisfied with her 
behaviour, and called together a family council 
complaining that she was always going out at 
night. They charged her with this and she retorted 
that they had made a great mistake, for it was her 
husband who was always out at night. So after 
some discussion they came to the following con- 
clusion : " Whichever of you," they said, " after 
this is first out at night is to be considered the 
guilty party." Mugdhika, in spite of this decision, 
took the first opportunity of going out, and her 
husband finding that she was not in the house 
locked the door and went to bed. Presently she 
came home and knocked, but her husband refused 
to let her in, so she took a large stone and threw 
it with a splash into the tank, and then went and 
waited behind the door. Her husband heard the 



56 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

splash, and thinking she had tumbled into the 
tank went out to see what had happened. Mug- 
dhika immediately slipped into the house and 
bolted the door. Her husband then finding himself 
locked out, began to expostulate loudly, exclaiming, 
" My dear wife ! Pray let me in ! " He made 
such a noise that she was afraid he would bring 
the police to the house, so she opened the door 
and let him in, at .the same time saying : " In 
future, my dear, let us cease to find fault with one 
another." 



Story XVH 

In a city called Visal^ lived a devout Brdhman, 
and he had a son to whom he taught all the wisdom 
of the sacred scriptures. Now one day the son, 
whose name was Gunadhya,(took leave of his parents 
and went into a distant country, where his wisdom 
gained him a great reputation, and where he medi- 
tated long and earnestly, how he might gain some 
profit from his learning. At last he bought an ox, 
and with it he started on a journey. As he was 
leading it along the road, he caught sight of a very 
attractive damsel, so finding a person who was 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 57 

willing to let him tie up the ox in his stable, he 
asked her to recommend him a lodging. So 
Gunadhya having settled himself and the ox 
started off to visit the object of his affections. 
He found her at home, and having spent the 
night at her house got up very early the next 
morning and carried off her anklet. Meanwhile 
a servant came by and seeing the ox tied up 
asked to whom it belonged. The woman who 
had lent Gunadhya the stable, knowing where 
the owner was gone maintained a discreet silence : 
for, it has been said — 

" Loss of money ; sorrow of mind ; domestic 
scandals ; fraud ; contempt ; these are things 
that a wise man never talks about." 

In the course of the day, Gunadhya, who had 
been gambling, and who had had exceedingly bad 
luck, met the damsel whose anklet he had stolen, as 
he was coming out of the gambling-house. She 
immediately seized hold of him, and being in her 
clutches, he shouted out, "Help — police — I am 
caught by a disreputable woman," and he made 
such a noise that she was forced to let him go. 
He then walked behind her calling her by all sorts 
of uncomplimentary epithets, until she was glad to 
take him down a back street, and give him her 
bracelet to keep him quiet. So — 



58 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

" He who can put up with disasters, or take no 
heed of them, and who never loses his head in difficul- 
ties, — such a man is worthy of all commendation." 



Story XIX 

In a city called Karala lived a certain SodhEika, 
a man of great importance in the town. His wife 
Santika was very much devoted to him. There 
was also a merchant in the same town whose wife 
Svachchhanda was frivolous and ill-conducted. She 
was always trying to attract Sodhaka's atten- 
tion, but he never took the slightest notice of her. 
One day he went to pay his respects to a holy 
man called Manoratha and Svachchhandci followed 
him into the house. 

It has been well said — 

" A man has power over himself only so long 
as he continues in the path of virtue ; so long 
as he keeps his senses in subjection ; so long 
as he behaves discreetly. So long, the glances 
of lovely damsels shot forth from the bows 
of their arching eyebrows, may fall on him, but 
they will not destroy his peace of mind." 

The police seeing Svachchhanda's manoeuvres 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 59 

surrounded Manoratha's house and Santika hearing 
of it went to the house with sound of music, and 
said to the guards, " I have made a vow after I 
have seen the holy man, to return into a soUtary 
place. Will you therefore accept this trifle of money 
and let me go into the house ? " They gladly allowed 
her to enter ;■ so she went and changed clothes 
with SvachchhandS., remaining inside herself while 
Svachchhandd went away disguised in her clothes. 
Next morning the police saw Sodhaka leaving the 
house accompanied by his own wife. They did 
not know what to make of it, but saw plainly that 
they had been done in some way or other. 



Story XX 

On the banks of the Sibhramati is a town called 
Sankhapura, and in it lived a certain Sura, a rich 
farmer. His wife's name was Kelika. She was a 
flighty, ill-conducted person, and violently attached 
to a Brahman who lived on the other side of the 
river. So being over head and ears in love with 
this BrzLhman, she used to cross the river with a 
friend at night, and pay him sundry visits. Her 
husband eventually discovered that his wife was 



6o THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

alwa}^ going over to the other side of the river, 
and followed her one night to try and find out 
what she was about. She was returning from one 
of these expeditions and caught sight of him; so 
she filled a pot with water, and went with her friend 
into a small shrine which stood on the river bank, 
in which was an image of one of the deities. After 
crowning the image with flowers, and washing it, 
she tipped a wink to her friend, and said, " Divine 
lady ! some time ago you told me that if I did 
not wash and adorn your image, my husband would 
die within a few days. Now I have acted in obe- 
dience to your command, I pray you therefore 
that his life may be prolonged ! ' ' Her friend uttered 
a fervent " amen " to this petition, and the 
lady's husband who had followed her close by 
heard all this. So he went away, not knowing 
that he had been seen, delighted with his wife's 
fidelity and affection. 



Story XXII 

In a certain village there lived a farmer called 
SodMka. His wife's name was Mddhaka. One 
day she was going along the road carrying some 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 6i 

meal, when she met a man called Suripila, and 
she put the meal down by the roadside and went 
and sat down and had a talk with him. Mean- 
while a rascal called Miladeva came by, and he 
mixed the meal up into the shape of a camel. 
When Madhaka came back and saw what had 
been done she picked up the camel very carefully, 
so as not to break it and went home. On reaching 
home her husband met her, and seeing the camel 
made out of meal exclaimed : " What in the world 
is this ? " His wife replied, " Well ! you must 
know that a few nights ago I dreamt that you had 
been eaten by a camel. Now set to work and eat 
the camel up that the camel may not eat you ! " 
When he heard this he was delighted at his wife's 
thoughtful affection and ate up the camel without 
any further delay. 



Story XXHI 

Next day Prabhivati's friends addressed her and 
said : " Go where the sandalwood ointment is 
rubbed off by the sweat which falls : Go ! where 
the sounds of love are manifold : where the tinkle 



62 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

of the anklets is silent : where everything incites 
to love. Go ! where the universal law of love 
prevails. For — 

" ' Health ; pleasure ; peace ; power ; lordship ; 

These are as nothing without love.' 

" It has been said — 

" ' The women with long half-closing eyes : looking 
at their own forms resplendent with beauty in the 
curving mirrors, wait with longing for the lover's 
approach. It is through their attractiveness that 
women gain the fruit of love.' " 

The parrot answered : 

" Men are easily won over : they always speak 
fair : It is the speaker of unpleasant though 
wholesome truths who cannot find a listener. But 
why say more ? You and your friends are deter- 
mined on evil deeds." 

The parrot continued : — 

There is a town called Padmavati : where the rays 
of the sun shine on streets paved with jewels, as 
though the glow of the gems on the hood of the 
serpent king had come down to earth. 

The king's name was Sudarlana. 

What praise can be too great for such a king as 
this, devoted to the guardianship of his subjects, 
the prince of a city where the sun looks down upon 
no evil? 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 63 

His wife was called Sringdrasundart, and in her 
companionship he spent the hot season. 

When the sun scorches : when the long days 
are unbearable : when the wind is the breath of 
a furnace : when everything is dried up or perishes 
through the heat. Sandalwood ointment : light 
clothing : refreshing drink : these things bringing 
coolness and delight conquer the heat. The heat 
is but a slave to those who at midday anoint them- 
selves with the sandal, who bathe at evening, 
whose nights are tempered by the wind of the fans. 

There was a merchant in the town called Chandana, 
and he and his wife Prabhavati, passed the hot 
season on the roof of their house. 

Even the sun supported in the heaven by his 
rays, descends into the ocean when his day is done. 
For it has been said — 

" When fate is hostile it is useless to try and 
reach greatness ! " 

Even the thousand rays cannot support the 
sun when his time for setting is come. Then the 
sun, sunk low in the heaven, his brilliancy departed, 
shines like a piece of coral : and presently the wide- 
eyed moon comes forward and takes up his place, 
rising over the Eastern mountain, accompanied 
by the myriads of stars, to kill the darkness. The 
moon standing with her head above the Eastern 



64 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

mountain in the beginning of night, shines forth — 
a torch to the world overwhelmed by the gloom. 
The moon rising from behind the Eastern mountain 
shines resplendent as she lies in the lap of her 
beloved night, or as she stands gleaming on Krishna's 
head. 

Such were the days and nights when Chandana 
and his wife passed their time together. They had 
a son whose name was Rama, and to him his father 
taught the mysteries of the divine wisdom. 

His mother prayed to Chandra and said : " I 
have but one only son : I am therefore exceedingly 
pained with anxiety." Chandra replied : " It is 
best for you, that you should have but one son : 
for a son that is clever, gentle, self-den5dng, 
discreet, the abode of the arts, the dwelling-place 
of virtue : one only son such as this is all sufficient. 
Besides : what is the good of more sons : they 
may produce grief and care. It is better to be 
satisfied with one whose nature, whose disposition 
is noble." But Prabhdvatt was not satisfied ; so 
she took a woman called DhiirtamELyEl into her 
confidence, and said : " If you will procure a son 
for me, able to resist all the deceitful arts of women, 
I will give you lOO pieces of gold." " I will give 
you a son," replied DhMamayi, " and if he falls 
a victim to female seduction, I will forfeit to you 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 65 

twice as many pieces of money." So the bargain 
was concluded and signed and the son was placed 
in the merchant's house, where he became the 
object of all the wiles that women could devise. 

The arts of women are these : deceitful speech ; 
craft ; oaths ; pretended emotions ; pretended 
weeping ; pretended laughter 5 meaningless expres- 
sions of pleasure and pain ; asking questions with a 
deferential air ; indifference ; equanimity, in pros- 
perity, or adversity ; making no difference between 
good and evil ; sidelong glances directed towards 
lovers : that is the list of the accomplishments 
practised by the ladies of the town. 

So the son handed over according to the agreement 
by Dhfirtamayd, was sent by his father to the 
island of Suvarna to acquire wealth. In that 
island lived a lady called Kalavati, and with her 
he spent a whole year. One day he said to Kalel- 
vati : " Pray tell me ! my youngest sister has 
often said, that although she was skilled in all the 
arts of attracting men, she never could succeed 
in getting anything out of her admirers. How is this 
to be accomplished ? " Kalavati repeated this to 
her mother : " My dear ! " replied the old lady, 
" it is quite clear that this admirer of yours is well 
up in the ways of women : you can't catch him 
like this ; perhaps flattery might succeed. When 



66 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

he is thinking of going back home, you say that 
yon want to go with him, and that if he leaves 
you, you will drown yourself — and so on. I daresay 
he would give you anything you liked to ask for." 
Kalivati answered, " My dear mother ! don't put 
it in that way : I care nothing for his money without 
him, and it has been said — 

" ' Do not set your heart on riches gained by 
wickedness, or from an enemy whom you have 
humiUafed.' " 

Her mother answered : " Not at all, my daughter ; 
riches are the cause of death or life. It has been 
said — 

" ' A man who acts with energy is sure to pros- 
per; for energy in all matters is the road to for- 
tune. 

Those who have not revealed secrets j who have 
done no evil ; who have not slain without cause ; 
they attain glory. 

Fate is the cause of justice and injustice : the 
cause of honour and of dishonour. Fate makes a 
man both a giver and an asker.' 

" You do as I have told you," continued her 
mother, " I will manage all the rest." So she listened 
to the advice her mother had given, and the end 
of it was, that the merchant's son gave her all his 
money, and aiter she had got hold gf severc^l million? 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 67 

which had belonged to him, he was turned out of 
doors and sent adrift. 

So Kalavatl's admirer returned home having 
lost both money and credit. His father, seeing 
him in this condition, was much distressed, and 
asked how it had all come about. He did not like 
to tell him, but told his spiritual father, who said : 
" My son, do not be cast down ! Good luck and 
bad luck are equally the lot of man. Why should 
wise men think so much of money ? If it goes, 
grieve not after it : if it comes back, care not for 
it." 

When his father heard all that had happened 
he went to Dhiirtamaya and said : "I have come 
to tell you that a great misfortune has happened. 
My son has fallen a victim to the treachery of a 
woman." " Who has not been ruined by women ? " 
replied Dhurtam^yS, : "for it has been said : ' A 
man who gains wealth becomes proud : he who 
falls into calamities loses his senses : whose will is 
not shaken by women ? Who can be the friend of 
a king ? Who has not come info the power of 
death ? Who does not respect a rich man ? Who 
that falls into the net of the evil escapes without 
loss ? ' Therefore if you will take a passage for 
me in a ship, I will go back with your son. It has 
been said : ' Damage may be repaid with damage : 



68 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

injury with injury : if you pull out my feathers, 
I will pull out your hair.' 

" I agreed that if your son were cheated by a 
woman I would be responsible. For : ' Though 
the earth, supported by the serpent king, the 
mighty mountain, the tortoise, the elephant, may 
move, that which has been determined by the Avise 
and thoughtful is never moved, even in the course 
of ages.' " 

So DhArtam^ya and Chandana's son went back 
to Suvama. All the inhabitants including Kalavati 
welcomed him, but he did not recover his money. 
The question was therefore — What could Dhurta- 
maya do ? Well ! as the money was not forth- 
coming, she put on the disguise of a Chandalsl, 
and went about trying to find an opportunity of 
getting it back. In the course of her wanderings 
she came across Chandana's son in the company 
of Kalavati. He saw her at the same time, and 
rushed to meet her, a line of action which had been 
already agreed upon between them. Kalavati 
followed him, and exclaimed, " Pray who is this ? " 
He replied : " This is my mother ; I have not 
seen her since I lost all my money ! " Dh^tamiya 
seizing hold of his hand greeted him affectionately, 
and said : " My son ! you went to this lady's 
house ! You fell a victim to her wiles but after a 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 69 

time you escaped. You know all the money you 
took away belonged to me." 

This she kept on asserting with oaths and impre- 
cations, until Kaiavati and her mother took the 
woman disguised as a Chandali into the house and 
said : " Madam ! tell us : Where do you come 
from ? What is your name ? In short who are 
you ? " " I," she replied, " am one of SudarSana's 
minstrels, the king of Padmavati : this son of mine 
took aWay all my money, and you stole it from 
him." Kalavati and her mother were thoroughly 
frightened and said : " Here is the money ! pray 
take it ! " " No," answered Dhurtamaya, not 
imless the king of this country gives me permission." 

Then they fell down at her feet and said : " We 
pray you accept it and have mercy on us ! " So 
she took it, and having been treated with the 
greatest respect by Kalavati and her mother, went 
back with Rama rejoicing to their own country. 



Story XXV 

There is a town called Chandrapura, and in it 
lived a Buddhist mendicant. His name was 
Siddhasena, and he had a high reputation among 



70 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

the townspeople. One day a white-robed ascetic 
arrived there, a man of the most exalted virtue. 
He became a great attraction to every one, so much 
so that the Buddhist devotee was quite thrown 
into the shade. The Buddhist was very much put 
out at all the veneration being transferred from 
himself to the newcomer, and so he dispatched a 
damsel of fascinating exterior to try and lure away 
his rival from the strict path of virtue. The pro- 
fessor of exalted virtue was a somewhat impression- 
able person, and the damsel succeeded perfectly; 
the result was that there was a good deal of talk in 
the town. The Buddhist took care to make the 
scandal as public as possible, and the townspeople 
said that the Buddhist was evidently a very religious 
person, but the virtuous ascetic, in spite of his white 
robes, was no better than he should be. The end 
of it was that the ascetic lighted a fire and burnt 
his white clothes, after which he bid farewell to 
the young lady who had been the cause of all the 
trouble, and started off very early the next morning 
as a half-naked mendicant. So the gossip came to 
an end, and the people said. After all, our Buddhist 
devotee is not equal to the holy man who wore the 
white garments. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 71 

Story XXVI 

In a village called Jalaudha lived a certain Rdjaputra, 
a very brave man. His wife's name was Ratnidevl. 
A man called Devasa and his son Dhavala were 
inhabitants of the same village. Both of these 
two were in love with Ratneldev!, but they kept it 
a secret from each other. One day the father and 
the son were both in the Rajaputra's house when 
unexpectedly the master of the house returned. 
Ratnadevi was in a difficulty, but she made signs 
to the son, who saw what had happened, and 
went out at once in a great state of trepidation. 
On the doorstep he ran up against the returning 
Rajaputra, who exclaimed : " Hullo ! what is the 
meaning of this ? " She replied : " This unfortunate 
person has been ill-treated by his father and came 
here to ask you for protection. His father followed 
him here, and I did not dare to ask the son in. 
Still as it has been said : ' A true Kshatrya is one 
who is able to protect the good, and whose bow is 
all powerful when an emergency arises. But he 
who has both the power and the means, and who 
does nothing, is as a man who promises without 
performing.' " 

The Rjljaputra exclaimed with indignation, "Go 
and call the son in ! " and he very willingly accepted 
the invitation. 



72 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

Story XXVIII 

There is a large village called Kukhadd 3 in it 
dwelt a certain Jarasa, who was a great fool. His 
wife's name was DeviM : she was a flighty, ill- 
conducted person, and had a lover — a Brahman — 
whom she used to meet under a Vibhitaka tree, some 
way from the village. These meetings were a great 
subject of gossip in the place, and in course of time 
her husband heard of them. So he made up his 
mind to see into the matter himself and went and 
climbed into the tree. What he saw from his 
hiding-place fully justified all the gossip and he 
called out to his wife : " You good-for-nothing 
hussy 1 You have been up to this game for some 
time past." She was put into somewhat of a 
difficulty and said : "I don't know what you 
mean ! " "I will let you know what I mean," he 
answered, " if you will just wait till I come down." 
So she promised to wait till he came down from the 
tree, and meanwhile sent her lover away. At last 
her husband reached the ground : " It is of no use 
your making excuses," he said, " you have been 
caught in flagranti delicto." " My dear hus- 
band ! " she replied, " You must know that this 
tree has very peculiar properties : any one who 
climbs up into it can see at once whether their 
husband or wife has attractions away from home." 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 73 

Her husband replied, " Well, you climb up andsee 
if it is so." Which she did, and cried out : " You 
good-for-nothing wretch ! you have been running 
after other women for days and days." As this 
was perfectly true the fool had nothing to say, and 
so he made it up with his wife and they went home 
together. 



Story XXIX ^^ 

In a village called Sikuli, there was a very rich 
merchant. He had a wife whose name was Sundarl, 
and she was always carrjdng on flirtations with a 
certain Mohana. One day she was entertaining 
her lover in the house when she saw her husband 
approaching. This was a pretty fix, so getting 
together all her ingenuity she made her lover — 
who had not a rag on, get into a hammock, and 
rushed out herself to meet her husband. Standing 
at a distance she cried out : "Be quick ! go and 
call the sorcerers to come here ! there is a naked 
ghost in the house and it has got into the hammock." 
So her husband, who was a great blockhead, started 
off at full speed to fetch the magicians to lay the 
ghost, and she ran back into the house and turned 



74 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

her lover out. When her husband came back, she 
met him with a firebrand in her hand and said : 
" My dear ! it is all right ! I have killed the ghost 
with this firebrand." 



Story XXX 

Somewhere or other — it matters not where, there 
is a cemetery called BhAtavana, and in it dwelt two 
demons whose names were Kurala, and Uttala. 
They each had a wife and a dispute arose between 
them, whose wife was the best-looking. They were 
out for a walk with their wives one day, when they 
came across a certain Mfiladeva. They promptly 
seized him by the arms, and said that unless he 
told them at once which of the two ladies was the 
more beautiful, they would certainly kill him. Now 
the two ladies in question were both of them very 
old and absolutely hideous : so it was qmfe evident 
that if Miiladeva told the truth he could not possibly 
escape destruction. So he reflected a minute, and 
then he said : "He who has a charming wife, to 
him she is the most beautiful thing in the world." 
At these words the two demons were delighted and 
immediately let the tactful Miiladeva go free. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 75 

Story XXXI 

In a forest called Madhara lived a lion whose name 
was Pingala. He was the terror of all the beasts 
in the forest, for he used to wander about and kill 
one after another. So they met together and made 
a bargain with him, that if he would leave them 
alone, they would supply him every day with one 
beast for his dinner. 

At last a hare's turn came to satisfy the lion's 
hunger and he declined to carry out the agreement. 
The other animals remonstrated with him and said : 
" You must go, or we shall have the lion eating up 
all the beasts as he used to do." The hare replied : 
" Don't trouble yourselves ! he won't eat up many 
more." So at about midday he appeared before 
the lion, going very slowly, and said : " Sir ! I 
was travelling along the road to come to you, when 
I was seized and kept a prisoner by one of your 
enemies ; so I am afraid I am a little late ! " " One 
of my enemies ! " exclaimed the lion, " and pray 
where is he ? Let me see him at once." The 
cunning hare led the lion into an enclosure where 
there was a well, and looking down into the water 
the lion saw his own reflection. The foolish lion 
thereupon in a great rage jumped down into the 
water and was drowned. For it has been said — 



76 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

" Wisdom, not force, is the support of a people 
in fear : 

Just as a mighty lion was killed by an insignificant 
hare. 

The arrow shot by a mighty archer may or may 
not kill : 

But the deUberations of a crafty minister will 
overturn both kingdom and people." 



Story XXXII 

In Santipura lived a person of some importance 
whose name was Madhava, and he had a daughter- 
in-law called Rajani. She was beautiful and clever, 
but at the same time light and frivolous in her 
behaviour. One day her mother-in-law sent her 
to the market to buy some wheat. So she started 
on her errand, and having brought what was 
required, she tied up the wheat in a bundle and was 
returning home. Presently she met one of her 
admirers, so she put down her bundle in a comer 
of the market, and went off to amuse herself with 
him. Meanwhile a man happened to come by, 
and seeing the bundle, took out the wheat and filled 
it up with sand. Rajani stayed longer than she had 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT ^^ 

intended, and eventually came back in a great 
hurry, and without looking into the bundle to see 
if the wheat was safe inside, picked it up and went 
home. On arriving home her mother-in-law took 
the bundle and opened it, when to her astonish- 
ment she found nothing but sand. So she said to 
Rajani, " What is the meaning of this ? " "My 
dear mother," replied Rajani, " Unfortunately I 
dropped the money you gave me in the middle of 
the market place, and so it came about that all 
this sand must have got into the bundle along with 
the money when I picked it up." Then her mother- 
in-law hunted about in the sand to try and find 
the money, of course unsuccessfully ; so not being 
able to make out what it all meant, she held her 
tongue and said nothing more on the matter. 



Story XXXHI 

In a town called Sankhapura hved a gardener 
called Sankara who was very rich. His wife's 
name was Rambhik^ and he was absolutely devoted 
to her. One day Sankara had arranged to hold a 
feast at his house in honour of his ancestors, and 
it so happened that Rambhika had on the same 



78 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

day invited four of her admirers to come to see her. 
She had been out selling flowers at a stall in the 
market, in the morning, and had come across them, 
one after another — a barber, a shopkeeper's son, 
an officer, and a musician. She had asked each 
of them separately, and they had all accepted her 
invitation. So next day when the gardener had 
gone into his garden, the shopkeeper's son arrived 
first to pay his addresses to the gardener's wife. 
He was shown into the bathroom, and had hardly 
begun his bathing operations, when the barber was 
seen running up to the house. So he was turned 
out of the bathroom, exactly as he was, and pushed 
into a little outhouse of wattle and daub where 
the gardener kept his pots. The barber then went 
into the bathroom, and was not half through his 
bath, when the musician appeared. So he in turn 
was shoved into the outhouse, and told to be careful, 
for there was a serpent somewhere about in it, 
with a brood of young ones. The barber thought 
to himself, " Well ! I must keep quiet for a bit ! " 
and just at that moment, up came the officer. The 
musician who was in the bathroom was hurriedly 
got out and hidden in the outhouse behind some pots. 
The gardener was then seen coming home, so the 
officer was concealed in the same place as the others. 
Then the festival began, and the gardener and his 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 79 

friends proceeded to carry out all the ceremonies in 
due form. Presently some food was taken to the 
four suitors, who were ignorant of each other's pres- 
ence. No sooner had the shopkeeper's son taken 
the food than he spit it out in disgust. The barber, 
who recollected the warning about the serpent, 
hearing the sound became so frightened that his feel- 
ings got the better of him. The shopkeeper's son who 
had heard the warning given to the barber was in 
such a state of alarm that he upset some of the 
pots, and one of them fell on the barber who was a 
little below him. This completed the barber's ter- 
ror, who rushed out of the house shouting " Murder." 
The rest hearing the noise and the shouting were 
all equally terrified, so they too ran out of the house, 
and hurried away down the road, while the gardener 
and his friends looked on with astonishment. He 
could not make out what it all meant, and he asked 
his wife for an explanation. " My dear ! " she 
replied, "it is quite clear that the ceremonies in 
honour of your ancestors were not performed with a 
devout mind : therefore these forefathers of yours, 
though they are all famishing, will not eat, and 
have run away in disgust." So by her advice he 
repeated the ceremonies, but his forefathers never 
returned to take part in them. 



8o THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

Story XXXIV 

In a certain town lived a BrShman called Sambha. 
He was a regular gambler, and was always travelling 
about from one place to another. One day he was 
making his way along the road, when he saw a very 
good-looking girl minding a field. He addressed 
her in a famihar tone, and asked her to come for 
a walk, at the same time promising to give her a 
piece of money. So she agreed and went along 
with him. After a time, he turned to her and said : 
" What shall I give you ? " " What you offered," 
she rephed. Well ! while they were arguing the 
point, they came close to the village where the girl 
lived. The Brahman picked five ears of com and 
followed close behind her j when they reached the 
village, he made signs of contempt, and cried out : 
" See here ! all you inhabitants of this place who 
are good for an5rthing ! Here is a girl who has 
sold herself to me for these five ears of com. The 
girl was dumbfounded and did not know what 
answer to make, while the villagers of course believed 
what the Brahman said. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 8i 

Story XXXV v 

Once upon a time there was a com merchant whose 
name was Sambhaka. It ' so happened that he was 
obliged to go to a place called Saragr^ma on busi- 
ness, and he called at a storekeeper's house. The 
storekeeper was not at home, but his wife was, and 
she was not at all disinclined to carry on a flirtation 
with any man she chanced to meet. Before long 
the pair were on the best of terms, to such an extent, 
indeed, that the visitor gave her a ring, as a small 
acknowledgment of her kindness to him. The time 
came for him to leave, and then he asked the lady 
to return him the ring. She looked on the ring as, 
in fact, a pa3anent for services rendered, and de- 
clined to hand it over, so how was he to get it back ? 
Well, this was the way he went to work. The corn 
merchant — since he could not get hold of the ring — 
went to the storekeeper who was in the shop and 
said : " Give me the lOO measures of seed you owe 
me." The storekeeper said, " A hundred measures 
of seed ! what are you talking about ? I don't owe 
you anything ! " " Oh, yes, you do ! " replied the 
other, " for when you were away from home, I 
bought a hundred measures of seed from your wife, 
and I paid her with a ring which is worth double the 
amount of seed that I bought." The storekeeper was 



82 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

very angry, and said to his wife : " Our shop will get 
a nice reputation if you are going on in this sort of 
way : hand over the ring at once." Which she did, 
and so the com merchant departed, no worse off 
than he had come, for he not only got back his ring, 
but a hundred measures of seed for nothing. 



Story XXXVI 

Once upon a time there was a farmer called Slira- 
pala, whose wife Nayini was always worr5dng him 
to give her a silk dress. " My dear," he invariably 
replied, " we are farmers ; who ever heard of one 
of our family wearing a silk dress? cotton is the 
proper stuff for us." So one day Nayini met one 
of the village officials, and gave him an invitation 
to dinner. Her husband heard of this, and when 
he came home he said, " This invitation to one of 
the officials of the village is most improper : be- 
sides, the man is not a friend of mine." " Why, 
then," she replied, " do you not grant me the favour 
I ask of you ? Give me the silk dress." The far- 
mer said : " Well ! I will give you the silk dress, 
if you will cancel this invitation." " Give me the 
dress," she answered, " and I will do as you wish." 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 83 

So he gave her the dress. Now the question was, 
how was this intended guest to be put off ? Well ! 
this was how it was done. Nayini said to the 
official she had invited : " When you come to 
dinner, mind and bring all the rest of the village 
functionaries with you. I will take care and give 
you a good dinner." So they all came in a body, 
and had an excellent entertainment ; and they one 
and all said : " Well, this SArapdla is a lucky fellow : 
no one could be nicer or kinder than his wife is." 
And that was the way she kept her promise and 
cancelled the invitation. 



Story XXXVII 

In a village called Sangrama there once lived a 
farmer. A man of the name of Purnapala was a 
ploughman on the farm, and when the weather was 
too bad for work in the fields, he used to work in 
his master's house. Now S<irapala had a daughter 
named Subhaga, and she took a violent fancy to 
this ploughman, and used to go and meet him in a 
copse on the farm some way from the house. At 
last some of the labourers were rather scandalized 
at these goings on, so they went and told Stirapala. 



84 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

He made up his mind to go and see for himself the 
truth of these stories, so one day he went and hid 
himself in a place where he could see ever5rthing, 
without being seen himself. What he found out 
led him to think that there must be some founda- 
tion for the stories which had been told him. The 
ploughman, however, had discovered somehow or 
other that his master had been looking on, so he 
said with a sigh : " What a Hfe mine is ! Here 
I have to plough, to get out the weeds, to work 
from morning to night. I might as well be in the 
infernal regions. However, my master is a good 
man, and I must do the best I can for him ; so 
here I am off to work." Siirapala heard what the 
ploughman said, and so far from beheving the 
scandalous stories that had been told him, thought 
the man absolute perfection. 



Story XXXIX 

There was a merchant of the name of Bhudhara 
who lived in a town called Kundina. Unfor- 
tunately he lost all his money, and though it was 
not through any fault of his own, he was cut by 
all his family and relations. As it has been said — 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 85 

" A rich man is wise ; a rich man is generous ; ^ 
a rich man is the incarnation of virtue ; a rich 
man is thought much of, and has no end of friends. 
But if his money go, everything else goes with 
it." 

So this BhMhara having lost everything that 
he possessed except som6 weights and scales, 
went away to another country, leaving the relics 
of this property in the care of a friend, who was 
also a merchant. After a time he made another 
fortune and returned to his own country. The 
first thing he did was to go to his friend and ask 
for the weights and scales. The merchant did not 
want to give them up, and after some demur he 
said : " Really I am very sorry, but they have 
been eaten by the mice." Bhiidhara said nothing 
but bided his time, and one day soon after this 
he was walking by the merchant's house, and 
saw his boy playing outside. Bhudhara promptly 
kidnapped the boy. The merchant was in a 
terrible state at the loss of his son, and started 
off with his whole family to try and find him. One 
of the neighbours met the party, who were full of 
weeping and lamentations, and said (hearing the 
cause of all this grief) : " Oh ! I know where the 
boy is ; I saw him with Bhudhara." So they 
went to Bhudhara's house, and the father asked 



86 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

BhMhara to give him up his son. " My dear 
friend," repUed Bhfidhara, " I am really very sorry, 
but I cannot ! Your boy was with me, we were 
walking along the bank of the river, when an eagle 
came and carried him off." On this the father 
grew very angry and had BhMhara up before the 
magistrates, on the charge of having made away 
with his son. Bhudhara appeared to answer the 
charge, and when the judge asked him what he 
had to say, he replied : " My lord ! in a place 
where the mice can eat up weights and scales of 
iron, an eagle might easily carry off an elephant — 
much more a boy." 

The magistrate who heard the case decided 
that when the merchant returned the weights and 
scales his boy should be restored to him, and so 
the end of it was that Bhudhara got back his 
weights and scales, and the merchant, though he 
recovered his boy, was punished for the theft. 



Story XL 

There were two men, one called Subuddhi, the 
other Kubuddhi, between whom a mutual friend- 
ship had arisen. One day Subuddhi was obliged 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 87 

to leave home on a long journey, and Kubuddhi 
took advantage of his absence to make love to 
his wife. After a time Subuddhi completed his 
business and returned home, when Kubuddhi 
showed how unreal and deceitful his friendship 
was. Approaching Subuddhi with a great show 
of affection, he said : "My dear friend, tell me 
if in the course of your travels you have seen 
anything curious or remarkable ? " " Yes, I 
have," replied Subuddhi, " for on the banks of a 
certain river, near a town called Manoratha, I 
saw a mango tree bearing fruit out of season." 
" Is that really so ? " asked Kubuddhi. " Yes. 
it is," rejoined the other. " I am telling you the 
exact truth." " Well," said Kubuddhi, " if this 
turns out to be the exact truth, as you say it is, 
then you shall take away from my house whatever 
you can carry in your two hands ; if not, then 
I will do the same by you." The bargain was 
agreed upon, and Kubuddhi the very same night 
went and picked the fruit off the tree on which 
it was growing. So when the matter came to be 
tested, and the fruit could not be found, Subuddhi 
seemed to have got the worst of it, and as Kubuddhi 
was very anxious to get possession of his friend's 
wife, he demanded that the bargain should be 
carried out. Subuddhi, somehow or other, had 



88 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

become perfectly acquainted with his friend's 
intention, and what he did was this. He put 
his wife on the top of the house and pulled down 
the staircase. Kubuddhi soon appeared on the 
scene, and Subuddhi said to him : " I am very 
glad to see you ; pray take out of my house what- 
ever you like." So Kubuddhi, who could not 
reach the lady on the housetop, went off to get 
a ladder. "Stop!" said Subuddhi; " this will 
never do ! The bargain is, that you may take 
what you like out of my house with your two 
hands ; there is nothing about ladders in the 
agreement." Se Kubuddhi got the worst of it 
and had to go home again without having gained 
his object, besides which he became the laughing- 
stock of the whole town. 



Story XLII 

In a village called Devalakhya lived a prince 
whose name was Rajasinha. His wife was a 
person of irreproachable reputation, but very ill- 
tempered and quarrelsome. One day she had a 
violent altercation with her husband, and in con- 
sequence left home and started off with her two 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 89 

softs to her father's house. She travelled through 
several towns and villages, and at last reached a 
large wood near Malaya, where she saw a tiger. 
The tiger saw her too, and came towards her lash- 
ing his tail with rage. She felt somewhat alarmed, 
but put on a bold front, and administering a smart 
slap to her sons she said : " What do you mean by 
quarrelling over who is to have a tiger to eat ? 
Can't you see one here close by ? Eat him first 
and then we will go and find another." The tiger 
heard all this, and thinking to himself, " Surely 
this lady must be indeed a formidable person," 
took to his heels and ran away in terror. 



Story XLIII 

Presently a jackal met him. He burst into a 
fit of laughter and said : " Hullo ! here is a tiger 
running away from something in a fright." " Friend 
jackal," replied the tiger, " the sooner you go off 
to some far distant country the better, for there is 
a most terrible person hereabouts — a regular tiger- 
eater ! such as one only hears of in fables. She 
has almost been the death of me ; as soon as I saw 
her, I ran away as fast as I could." " Well, I am 



90 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

surprised," said the jackal. " Do you mean tliat 
you are afraid of what after all is only a piece of 
human flesh ? " "I was close to her," answered 
the tiger, " and what she did and said was enough 
to frighten any one." The jackal answered: 
" Well, I think I shall go by myself and see if I can 
find this tiger-eating lady. You had perhaps 
better not come, as she might recognize you again." 
" Whether you go with me or without me," replied 
the tiger, " it will make no difference ; you are 
certain to be destroyed." 

" Well, then," said the jackal, " let me mount 
on your back, and we will go together." So the 
jackal was tied on the tiger's back and off they 
started, and very soon found the tiger-eater with 
her two sons. She felt a little nervous at first, 
seeing the tiger had come back accompanied by a 
jackal, but reflecting a minute she cried out : " You 
rascally jackal ! once upon a time you used to 
bring me three tigers at once ; what do you mean by 
coming here with only one ? " The tiger heard 
this, and was so frightened that he turned and fled 
with the jackal on his back. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 91 



Story XLIV 

The tiger continued his headlong course, while the 
jackal, tied on the tiger's back, suffered the greatest 
discomfort and inconvenience. The question for 
him was, how to get out of this unfortunate posi- 
tion, for the tiger in deadly fear tore through rivers, 
over mountains, through forests. Suddenly he 
burst into a loud fit of laughter. The tiger ex- 
claimed : " Well ! I can't see what there is to laugh 
at ! " "A great deal, I think," replied the jackal. 
" It has just occurred to me how cleverly we have 
cheated that scoundrelly tiger-eater. Here I am 
safe and sound with your help, and she has been 
left behind, no one knows where. That was why 
I laughed. So, my dear tiger, do let me get down 
and see where we are." The tiger felt flattered 
and willingly loosed the jackal off his back. No 
sooner had he done so than he suddenly fell down 
dead, and the jackal went off rejoicing. For it has 
been said — 

" Wisdom is better than pomp and display, for 
by it men may gain place, riches, and honour : but 
he who is devoid of wisdom falls into dire misfor- 
tune. The strength of the ignorant is used to 
carry out the business of another, even as the 



92 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

surpassing might of an elephant is made subject to 
man." 



Story XLVI 

In a town called Vatsoma lived a BrElhman as poor 
as he was wise. His wife's name was Karagara 
(the poisoner) and it fitted her to a nicety. All the 
animals for miles round were terrified at her, and a 
certain goblin who lived in a tree near the house 
was so much afraid of her that he ran away into the 
forest. Soon after the Brahman followed their 
example for the same reason, and left his home. 
In the course of his journey he met this goblin ; 
and the goblin said to him, " You seem to have had 
a long journey. You must be tired and hungry, 
come with me and I will give you something to 
eat." 

The Brihman, who recognized the quaUty of his 
would-be host, felt a little nervous and said : " With 
pleasure, but if I accept your hospitaUty will you 
let me go again ? " " Certainly I will," replied the 
goblin, " you need not be the least afraid. The 
fact is this. I know who you are, for you were 
once my master. I used to live in a tree just out- 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 93 

side your house, and I ran away because I was 
afraid of your wife Karagara. You may depend 
upon my behaving towards you as I ought. We 
will go now to Mrigavati. The king's daughter, 
Sulochana, is very ill, and the physicians have 
given her up. You will very hkely with your 
knowledge and wisdom be able to do what the 
doctors cannot. When we have reached Mrigavati 
I will leave you." 

Before long they arrived at Mrigavati, where 
they heard a proclamation inviting any person 
who was able and willing, to come forward and cure 
the king's daughter. So the Brahman on the 
strength of this proclamation went to the king's 
Court and performed the required cure. After this 
the goblin declined to leave him, as he had pro- 
mised. So the Brahman said : It is written — 

" Men of good family, students of the sacred 
Scriptures may not break their promises : how 
much less one who is of immortal race." 

On this the goblin was ashamed and went away, 
and the Brahman received the king's daughter, 
and half the kingdom, a reward far beyond anything 
he had hoped or expected. 



94 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

Story XLVH 

So the BrELhman and the princess enjoyed the 
delights of sovereignty. Not long afterwards, 
however, the gobHn came and carried off Sulochana. 
The family were distracted, and sent to ask a famous 
magician to come and help them. He declined to 
have anything to do with the business on any terms, 
so the Brdhman started off on his own account to 
try and get SulochanS out of the goblin's clutches. 

When he reached the place, the goblin jeered at 
him, making use of all kinds of insulting expres- 
sions. " I have carried out my part of the busi- 
ness," he said. " Now, my reverend friend, look out 
for yourself." 

The Brihman said nothing, but waited a minute, 
and then went up to the goblin and whispered : 
" Listen ! Karagara is coming, she is just behind 
me. I came on in advance to tell you." This was 
enough for the goblin, and hearing Karagara's 
name he dropped Sulochana, took to his heels, and 
gave the Brahman no more trouble. 
. So the Brahman having accomplished his mission 
returned with high honour to Mrigavati. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 95 

Story XLVIII 

There was a king called Narada, in Patalipura. 
He was the sovereign of the whole world, for by 
his wisdom and the wisdom of his ministers all 
kings and princes were made subject to him. Now 
King Narada lost all his sense of duty, and was on 
the point of gambhng away both money and king- 
dom when he was prevented from doing so by 
his prime minister. The stupid king was very 
angry at his will being opposed and put his prime 
minister, whose name was Sakatala, in prison. 
Sakatala remained so long in the prison that people 
began to think that he must be dead. Just about 
this time the king of a neighbouring country sent 
some messengers to Narada with a couple of mares 
to test his abilities. The point put before the king 
was this. Of the two mares which is the dam, 
and which is the filly. The mares were exactly 
alike in all points, and persons, skilled in horse- 
flesh, were summoned from all parts of the king- 
dom to give their opinion. No one, however, could 
be found to find an answer to the question ; so 
Sakatala, the late minister, occurred to Narada, 
for it was quite clear that without him neither king 
nor country were of much account. It is said — 
" Tlie overthrow of an honest and virtuous 
minister endowed with wisdom means the over- 



96 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

throw of the realm and the sovereign. When the 
kingdom has been ruined it is of no use to try Eind 
find the minister." 

Reflecting on such maxims, the king sent for the 
chief of his police, and asked them whether any- 
thing were known of Sakatala. " Something may 
possibly be known," answered the chief ; " but 
nothing accurately : for it was forbidden under 
the severest penalties to have anything to do with 
Sakatala." However, the poUce went to the prison 
where Sakatala had been confined, found him, and 
brought him out, paying him the utmost respect, 
telling him that he was worthy of all honour, that 
he was a friend, a spiritual father, a prince, one to 
whom all looked for refuge. 

A prince is a protector in adversity ; 

A spiritual superior is an instructor in the sacred 
Scriptures ; 

A friend shows sympathy to those in trouble ; 

A ruler is a refuge in time of fear. 

So the minister said to the king : " Sir ! what 
is it that you want to know ? " The king put the 
problem before Sakatala, and asked him to solve 
it. So Sakatala had the two mares saddled and 
bridled, and took them on to the neighbouring race 
course. After having galloped them up and down 
for some time, he had the saddles and bridles taken 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 97 

off, and turned them loose in a paddock. He very 
soon found out which was which, for the dam 
licked the filly all over, and the filly showed every 
sign of affection. So having found out the answer, 
Sakatala went and told the king, and not only 
received his former position, but gained great credit 
and riches for himself. 



Story L 

In a certain town in a remote quarter of the world 
lived two friends ; the name of one was Dharma- 
buddhi, of the other Dushtabuddhi. One day they 
started on an expedition to try and make some 
money, and having been very successful, they 
determined to return to their native town. Before 
starting they decided to take some part of their 
money home with them, and to bury the remainder, 
and far the larger part, under a pipal tree, with the 
idea of returning eventually and dividing it between 
them. This having been done they went to their 
respective homes, well pleased, and prepared to 
thoroughly enjoy themselves. Well now ! just 
hear what Dushtabuddhi did — ^indeed, I am ashamed 
to say what he did ; for — 

G 



98 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

" It is not fitting to relate what is base and wicked ; 
Evil deeds should not even be spoken of." 
For Dushtabuddhi went and dug up all the 
money and carried it off to his own house. When 
the time came for dividing the money, the two 
friends went together to the tree under which it 
had been buried, but, of course, it was not to be 
found. So Dharmabuddhi went before the magis- 
trate, told him what had happened, and charged 
Dushtabuddhi with having stolen the money. 
Dushtabuddhi was called upon to answer this accu- 
sation, and he offered security for £i,ooo to clear 
himself by oath. The magistrate agreed to this 
course, and having taken security of Dushtabuddhi 
the parties went home. Dushtabuddhi then told 
his father what had happened, and having told him 
what to do, hid him in the hollow of the pipal tree. 
Next morning, the magistrate, the plaintiff, the 
defendant, and all the inhabitants of the town, went 
to the tree in great expectation. Dushtabuddhi 
went through a regular course of purification, and 
then' making a profound obeisance to the tree, said 
that the truth would soon be known. " Most noble 
tree ! " he exclaimed, " I pray you speak the truth ! 
Did I take the money or did I not ? " His father 
hidden in the ptpal tree answered, " Certainly not ! " 
and as every one present heard the answer, it seemed 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 99 

pretty clear that Dushtabuddhi was innocent of 
the theft. But Dharmabuddhi was not to be taken 
in, for he had recognized the voice of Dushta- 
buddhi's father. So he went and set fire to the 
tree. Presently the old gentleman was seen scramb- 
ling out of the hollow, scorched with the fire, and 
almost suffocated. On this the magistrate had 
Dushtabuddhi arrested, punished him, and ordered 
him to restore Dharmabuddhi the money which he 
had stolen. 



Story LI 

There is a town called Chamatkarapura, and it was 
inhabited by a pious and wealthy people. One 
day some Brahmans living there made up their 
minds to go on a pilgrimage to the Lord of Vallabhi, 
and they started with a goodly company of horses 
and chariots, together with their wives and children, 
taking with them plentiful supplies for the journey. 
On the road they were attacked by a band of 
thieves, and they fled in all directions. One of the 
reverend gentlemen whose name was Gangila hap- 
pened to be lame, consequently he was unable to 
run away with the rest of the party. So he re- 



100 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

mained in the carriage which conveyed him, and 
preten,ding not to be the least alarmed, called out 
to his brother who was with him, and said : " Tell 
me ! How many elephants and horses have you 
got ! Be quick and bring me my magic bow and I 
will very speedily put an end to these rascals." 
The thieves hearing this took themselves oft at 
once. For — 

If a man speaks wisely and suitably — and does 
not lose his head, 

No one can possibly get the better of him. 



Story LII 

In a remote part of the world lies a town called 
Pratishth^na. The name of the king's son was 
Durdamana, and he began to think that he ought 
to be making a position for himself and not to rely 
on his father. So he started off with three friends 
like minded with himself, one the son of a Br4hman^ 
another the son of a merchant, the third a young 
carpenter. They held a consultation as to the 
best way to begin their expedition, and finally 
decided to pay their respects to the ocean, the 
abode of hidden treasures. For it is said — 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT loi 

"The house of the wise, the well-born, those 
endowed with constancy and good fortune, is as 
the king's palace. 

" Good men always help the good, even as an 
elephant in the mire is drawn out by an ele- 
phant. " 

So with these maxims in mind, after having 
fasted, and offered the due number of sacrifices, 
they approached the ocean with their entreaties, 
and the ocean was so pleased with them that he 
gave them each a magic jewel. 

They seemed to have made a good start, so they 
each handed their jewel over to the keeping of the 
merchant, who promised to take care of it for them. 
The merchant, however, was a rogue, and he took 
the jewels and sewed them upon the band of his 
trousers with the idea of keeping them himself. 
Soon after this they were travelling along the road, 
when the merchant, who was a little behind the rest, 
suddenly cried out loudly : " Help ! stop thief ! 
I have been robbed." The others came running 
up to see what was the matter and he said, " I just 
turned aside off the road for a moment, and I was 
set on by some thieves, and I have lost everything, 
your jewels included." His companions heard what 
he said, and commented upon it among themselves. 
Their opinion was that the man was a scoundrel, 



102 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

and that he had made away with their property. 
A day or two after they reached a city called Air- 
arati, where a certain Buddhisara hved. He was 
the king's chief minister, and his fame reached over 
the whole world. When disputants came before 
him, they had only to state their case and without 
the smallest delay he gave his decision, and the 
decision was always right. So the son of the 
prince with his other two friends went and laid the 
whole matter before him. They said : " If you 
will only examine into the matter, and question us 
separately, you are certain to find out all the truth, 
your penetration cannot fail to get to the bottom 
of the mystery." When Buddhisara heard this 
he was somewhat perplexed. He tried his best 
but he could not come to any conclusion as to the 
thief, or the whereabout of the jewels, and went 
home in a very dejected state. His daughter 
observed that he seemed very much out of sorts, 
and asked him what was the matter. The minister 
told her the story and she said, " My dear father ! 
don't put yourself out ! I will find out where the 
jewels are." " A Ukely thing indeed," replied 
the minister. " If I cannot find it out, I don't 
know how you possibly can." She answered — 

" No one in this world ought to say, ' My skill 
has forsaken me ' : 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 103 

For who can know more than very little of 
anything ? 

Difficulties are removed by the eyes which beam 
with knowledge, 

Just as darkness is dispelled by a lantern carried 
in the hand." 

So in obedience to his daughter's wish, the 
minister invited the whole party to his house. 
They bathed and dined sumptuously and then were 
shown to their beds each in separate rooms. Then 
the minister's daughter went to the prince first and 
made overtures of love to him, at the same time 
asking him for £100. He replied, " I have no 
money with me but, if you will let me go home and 
fetch some, I will return and give it to you." She 
said, " Oh, no ! that will not do for me, I must have 
it now," and went on to the Brahman who made 
pretty much the same answer. So she next tried 
the carpenter. He said, " I have not got the 
money with me, but if you will wait I will gladly 
let you have £100." Declining to let the carpenter 
have credit she finally went to the merchant, and 
addressed herself to him. He replied, " I have 
not got any money, but here are four valuable jewels 
which you can have if you hke," and he took them 
out of his trousers where they had been sewn up. 
She took them and saying, " Well ! I must just go 



104 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

and have them tested to see if they are genuine," 
handed them over to her father, who restored to 
each man the property that belonged to him. 



Story LIV 

Once upon a time there was a king called Dharma- 
datta, who ruled over Sakravati. He was endued 
with righteousness — the essence of all virtues. 
Suiila was his chief minister, and beside him was 
another man living in the place, whose name was 
Vishnu. This Vishnu had been a minister, but 
somehow or other he had lost his money as well as 
the position which he formerly used to hold. The 
consequence was that he grew morose and disagree- 
able — quite wrapped up in himself, and the con- 
templation of his misfortunes. Moreover, the king 
took a disHke to him — entirely ignored his exist- 
ence. One day Suiila asked the king how it was 
that Vishnu had grown so dull and dejected : but 
the king took no notice of Sulila's remark. SuSila 
therefore continued : " Sir ! Vishnu is honourable 
and charming : he is excellent at diplomacy ; you 
ought to send him upon a mission somewhere or 
other." The king hearing what Suiila said, did 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 105 

not feel any more amiably disposed towards Vishnu ; 
so he sealed up some ashes in a parcel and told 
Vishnu to take them to Saturdamana, the King of 
Vidisa. Vishnu immediately started on his mission 
and gave the parcel to King Saturdamana, with- 
out knowing what it contained. The king opened 
the parcel, and when he found what was inside it, 
he was exceedingly angry. So it seemed as if 
Vishnu were placed in a somewhat critical position, 
but he was a very prudent man, and seeing how 
angry the King of Vidisa was, he said : — 

" Sir ! My lord has been offering the Aiva- 
medha sacrifice, and to do your majesty honour, he 
has sent you some of the ashes from the sacrificial 
mound. They spring from the union of the three 
fires : they bring purification, prosperity, pro- 
tection from evil. It has been said — 

" ' Elephants are a noble offering ;"^horses are a 
noble offering ; 

But in what kingdom will you find a nobler offer- 
ing than the ashes of the holy sacrifice ? ' " 

So saying he took the ashes up in his hand and pre- 
sented them to the King of Vidisa. His majesty 
was so pleased with the offering, and the speech, 
that he loaded Vishnu with riches and honour, and 
sent him back to his own country. 



io6 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

Story LV 

In the village of Charmakuta lived a Brahman called 
Srtdhara. In the same place there was a cobbler 
who had made a pair of shoes for Sridhara, and 
though he was always asking him to pay for the 
shoes, he never could get the money : all that Srid- 
hara said was, " Some day or other you shall be 
satisfied ! " So time went by, and at last the cobbler 
seized hold of the Brahman and demanded payment. 
This was very awkward for the Brahman, for he had 
no money whatever. So being a man of expedients 
he said : " My worthy cobbler ! I told you that 
you should be satisfied before long. Now a son hcis 
been born to the lord of the village : are you satis- 
fied or not ? " The cobbler was in a dilemma, for 
he knew that if he said " No ! " he would fall under 
the lord's displeasure ; if " Yes ! " he would lose 
the money owing to him. So of the two evils he 
chose the least, and let the Brahman off without 
paying. 



Story LVII 

There was a king called VikramElrka, and his wife's 
name was Chandralekha. She took a violent fancy 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 107 

to one of the king's wise men, a certain Subhakara, 
and used to correspond with him frequently. Be- 
sides this she was always making assignations with 
him and going to his house. One night in the rainy 
season the queen started to visit Subhakara. " The 
king of the rains was come ; the noise of thunder 
the drums that heralded his approach ; the roaring 
of the clouds the chorus of singers that went before 
him ; the flashes of lightning his victorious ban- 
ners. The dark days, the floods of rain, the 
oceans of mud, the flashing of the lightning. These 
things stand in the way and prevent women meeting 
their lovers." 

The king discovered that Chandralekha had 
started for Subhakara's house, so he put on dark 
clothes, took a sword in his hand, and followed her 
without her knowing it. 

Subhakara met the queen at the door of the house, 
and repeated these verses — 

" When the sky is all in confusion ; when blinding 
darkness is over the whole earth ; when the night 
watches are stunned with the noise ; in such a con- 
dition of things as this, why do you come from the 
innermost apartments of the sovereign who burns 
up his enemies as the fire which lies within the 
ocean? Surely it is a mere pretence that women 
cannot endure even the eye of the lotus." 



io8 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

The king heard Subhakara's words, and felt flat- 
tered ; meanwhile the wise man comforted the 
queen with delicate attentions and pleasant 
speeches. 

Next morning the king sent for the queen, and 
summoned the Pandit to meet her. Turning to 
Subhakara, he said : " Surely it is a mere pretence 
that women cannot endure even the eye of the 
lotus." Subhakara, hearing this, gave himself up 
for lost, for he thought that everything had been 
found out, for — 

" Even in a humble dwelling, punishment follows 
evil doing ; 

How much more in the king's palace." 

So he reflected for a moment, and then he said — 

" Thy glory, most noble lord, rules the waters of 
the ocean filled with terrible monsters, penetrates 
even to the heaven, climbs the inaccessible moun- 
tain ; is powerful even in hell filled with poison- 
breathing monsters. O love incarnate ! Surely the 
fear of women that can face this must be feigned." 

The king heard what the Pandit said, and looked 
at him and the queen. He thought to himself : 
Here is a wise and prudent man, he is not easy to 
catch out, but as for women there is no difficulty 
with them. So he took the queen by the hand, 
and said to the wise man : " Here is the queen, 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 109 

take her ! " The Pandit was delighted, but as a 
discreet man should, he concealed his feelings, and 
he said : " How can a man who knows not the 
Scriptures distinguish between good and evil ? 
How can a man who is blind distinguish between 
beauty and ugliness ? " 

And so the end of it was that the Pandit, as a 
reward for his discretion, fully enjoyed the queen's 
company by the permission of the king. 



Story LIX 

In a village called Sangama lived a Rajaputra, who 
was as stupid as he was ill-tempered. His wife's 
name was Rukmini. One day they started off 
together on a pilgrimage to a shrine, and on the 
road he caught Rukmini making sheep's eyes at a 
passer by. The Rajaputra very naturally con- 
cluded that she wanted to attract attention, so he 
turned back at once, and went home. When he 
reached his house he expressed himself pretty 
strongly, and locked his wife up. She thought to 
herself, " Well ! so much for this ! Before I am 
many hours older I will bring some one into the 
house, and make love to him right under my stupid 



no THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

husband's nose." After a time her husband let 
her out again, and the first person she chanced to 
meet was the admirer whom she had lately met 
when she was travelling with her husband. So 
she called out to him and said : " Come and see 
me this evening, and we will sit under the tamarind 
tree in the courtyard." He was very glad to come, 
and in due course put in an appearance, and found 
rest and refreshment provided for him under the 
tamarind tree. As soon as he was comfortably 
settled she sent for her husband, and he came 
with his bow and arrows. " You, my dear hus- 
band," she said, " are a famous shot ! You are a 
mighty hero ! Your skill and prowess is the 
common talk of the whole earth ! I wish you 
would just lop a bit off the moonlight for me." 

The Rajaputra, who really was a great fool, took 
his bow and aimed at a streak of moonlight, and 
missed his mark ; at this she clapped her hands 
and laughed. When he heard her jeers at his clum- 
siness he tried to find another arrow but failed, and 
while he was fumbling in the dark she cried out and 
said : " You fool ! I have carried out my inten- 
tion, and I have brought my admirer right into the 
middle of your house. You are a good shot, but 
this time you are unlucky. Now I am off, so good- 
bye to you." So saying she mounted a horse and 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT iii 

went with her lover ; and the Rajaputra, too much 
ashamed of his failure to say anything, let her go 
without a word. Indeed, who that has given his 
affection to women has not suffered for it ? For it 
has been said — 

" Even Brahma himself fell into the snare ; who 
can be a match for women ? Women are the root 
of the tree of painful existence, the ground in which 
grows the tree of wickedness, the flower from which 
comes the fruit of penitence. How can women bring 
peace ? From women spring confusion ; confusion 
overtakes those who have to do with women. Cast- 
ing them off, then we may perhaps attain to happi- 
ness." 

Prabh3,vati answered the Parrot and said — 

" But women are the cause of existence ; women 
are the cause of growth j 

Women are the cause of pleasure. How can they 
be evil ? 

Without them there can be no enjoyment ; with- 
out them no pleasure. 

Without them a man is of no account." 

Also — 

" Women have been created as a jar of ambrosia ; 
a mine of pleasure ; the abode of love. What can 
bring peace and happiness more than the society of 
a lovely woman ? " 



112 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

The Parrot heard what she had to say, and re- 
pUed : " There is a good deal of difference between 
coats of mail, elephants, and horses — between wool, 
wood, and stone — between water, women and men." 



Story LX 

A CERTAIN king built a magnificent hall, and adorned 
it lavishly with gold and jewels. A neighbouring 
sovereign, hearing of its splendour, sent an envoy 
called Haridatta, with a present of elephants, horses 
and jewels, to find out whether the hall were as mag- 
nificent as it was reported to be. When he arrived 
he interviewed the king, and said : " Sir ! Your 
Majesty ! May I be allowed to see the famous hall 
that you have built ? " The king willingly assented 
and told Haridatta that he should see it on the 
following morning. Next day the envoy was con- 
ducted to the hall, and he was so dazzled with its 
magnificence, that he could not make up his mind 
whether it was real, or whether he was dreaming. 
So he took a nut out of his pocket and threw it on 
the floor, which convinced him of the reality of all 
that he saw, and he returned home filled with aston- 
ishment and admiration. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 113 

Story LXI 

There was a certain merchant who lived in a village 
called Khorasama. His wife's name was Tejuka, 
very good-looking, but frivolous and light-minded. 
One day she went with some of her friends to see a 
religious procession, and she came across a very 
handsome man, for whom she immediately con- 
ceived a violent attachment. For — 

"At a wedding, in the king's palace, in the house 
of another, a woman is sure to get into mischief." 

Again, it has been said — 

" At home ; in the desert ; at a sacrifice ; in a 
pilgrimage ; at a festival ; in a crowd ; in a desert J 
in a town ; in a village ; free to roam about j shut 
up at home ; in the field ; in the threshingfloor ; 
coming in, going out ; by day or by night ; it mat- 
ters not where, a woman is certain to go wrong." 

So Tejukat, seeing this man, made signs and called 
him to her, and said : " I am a good deal taken with 
you y but my husband is a very disagreeable, ill- 
tempered man, and he won't let me go out of doors. 
You come outside the house, and throw in a pot 
with a serpent in it. The serpent will escape, and 
I shall cry out that I have been bitten. TTien you 
must come by disguised as a doctor, and my hus- 
band will call you in." So he did exactly as had 
been arranged, came to the house and threw the 

H 



114 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

pot in. Tejuka cried out immediately : " Help ! I 
have been bitten by a serpent that was in this 
pot." She made a great noise over it, and her 
husband was very much alarmed. Just at that 
moment the man disguised as a doctor passed by 
the house. TejukeL cried : " Go and get the doctor 
to ease my pain ! Go and get the wood for my 
funeral pile, for I shall certainly die." So her hus- 
band, seeing this man who he thought was a doctor 
standing at the door of the house, went and called 
him in. The pretended doctor looked at the lady's 
wound, and said to her husband : " This is a very 
dangerous bite ; but you are fortunate in having 
come across me, for I can certainly cure her." The 
merchant implored the doctor to save the life of his 
wife. Then the doctor put some very pungent 
ointment on Tejuka, and said to her husband : 
" Don't be alarmed ! the drug that I have is strong 
enough to counteract any poison ; perhaps you 
would like to apply it yourself." The merchant 
proceeded to do as he was asked, but the ointment 
made his eyes water to such an extent that he was 
obliged to give it up, and saying to the doctor, " I 
think you had better put this stuff on yourself," he 
went out of the room. 

In the merchant's absence the doctor and his 
sweetheart thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and the 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 115 

crafty Tejuka was soon cured of the serpent's bite. 
The merchant was quite delighted at the cure, and 
placed himself and his house quite at the doctor's 
service. So the doctor after this paid the merchant's 
house a good many visits, to the great satisfaction 
of the merchant's wife. 



Story LXV 

In a town called Ganasthana hved a devotee. His 
name was Srivatsa, and he was a follower of Mahes- 
vara. One day he started for Varanasi with one 
of his disciples, and on the road this disciple saw a 
piece of meat, and stopped to pick it up. 

He was seen to do this by a number of ascetics 
who were close by, so Srivatsa was put in some- 
what of a difficulty. For they all came in a body 
and jeered at this devotee and his disciple who had 
made such a blunder. To their remarks he said : 
" Yes ! this is a disciple of mine, and it is quite 
true that he picked up a piece of meat ; but 
the truth is, that he didn't know it was a piece of 
meat, or he would not have made this mistake." 



ii6 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

Story LXVI 

In a far away country there is a delightful forest, 
remote from the dwellings of men. It stretches 
far and wide over the land, and the birds love it. 
And in that forest there is a cool sheltered pasture, 
through which a river flows, and on its bank a fig 
tree throws its shade. There the king of the geese 
used to rest with his flock, wearied with their day's 
wandering. 

One day when the geese had gone away, a fowler 
came and spread a net about the tree. In the 
evening they returned in their wonted fashion, and 
were all caught in the net. Their king then, seeing 
that they had all been taken prisoners, set his wits 
to work to dehver them from the toils. After 
reflecting on the case, he said — 

" My children ! when the fowler comes back in 
the morning, lie perfectly ,quiet, and pretend to 
be dead. Then he will think you are really dead, 
and will take you out of the net and throw you 
aside ; after which jump up, and fly away as fast 
as you can." 

So it turned out. In the morning the fowler came 
back to see if he had caught the geese. They all 
lay perfectly still, and he thought they were dead ; 
so he took them out of the net and threw them on 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 117 

the ground. No sooner had he done this than they 
flew off back to their homes, and so escaped his 
clutches. 



Story LXVII 

In a forest called Pushpakara, lived a small monkey 
whose name was Vanapriya. One day he was 
walking close to the river bank, when he saw a 
crocodile basking in the sun. " Friend Crocodile," 
said he, " are you tired of life that you have come 
so close into land ? " The crocodile heard what 
the monkey said and replied : "He who has a 
situation that suits him, he who receives due wages 
for his services, is perfectly content with the place 
in which he happens to be. For it has been said — 

" ' Lanka is altogether made of gold, yet I care 
nothing for it : Ayodhya, the home of my fathers, 
is but poor, yet I delight in it.' But there is some- 
thing more than that, for your acquaintance has 
added additional pleasure to my existence. For 
it is written — 

" ' A sacred bathing-place is only profitable 
sometimes. But the mere sight of a good man is 
always a source of purification.* So now a piece of 



ii8 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

luck has happened to me, in that I have come 
across one who speaks such kindly words as you." 

" My dear Crocodile," answered the monkey, 
" from this day forward I shall be entirely devoted 
to you, for your words are indeed the words of 
friendship. As it has been said — 

" ' Friendship, in the opinion of wise men, is the 
society of the good.' Therefore," continued the 
monkey, " let me offer you such hospitaUty as I 
am capable of." So saying he brought the crocodile 
some ripe fruit as sweet as nectar. 

So after this every day the monkey used to bring 
his friend the crocodile plaintain fruit, and the 
crocodile took it home to his wife. One day she 
asked him where this fruit came from, and he told 
her the whole story, exactly as it all happened. She 
thought to herself, " This monkey seems to enjoy 
excellent fruit, I wonder what his ordinary food 
is like," and so, being in a condition which gave her 
a craving for all sorts of strange out-of-the-way 
things, she said to her husband : " I must have 
some of that fruit which the monkey is always 
eating : if you don't get it for me I shall certainly 
die." So off the crocodile started on his errand, 
and soon arrived at the river bank where he had 
met the monkey the first time. The monkey was 
there, and the crocodile said to him, " My dear 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 119 

friend ! Your brother's wife is very anxious to 
see you ; will you come with me to our house ? " 
The monkey accepted the invitation, and without 
any hesitation mounted the crocodile's back, and 
they started on their journey. On the way the 
monkey became a little anxious, and said : " It 
has occurred to me how am I to find my way back ? " 
The crocodile recognized the monkey's difficulty, 
and explained carefully to him the way home. 
The monkey replied, ' My good crocodile ! It is 
of no use your telling me all this, I am sure I should 
not recollect it. Besides, I think my affection for 
you has something lessened, so it is of no use my 
going home with you." The crocodile rejoined, 
" Well : where shall I put you down ?" " My dear 
friend ! " answered the monkey, " haven't you 
heard the sa3nng : " My heart is always in the fig 
tree : my desire always for the sacred fig ' ? If 
you know what that means you will take me back 
at once." 

The stupid crocodile at these words turned round 
and took the monkey back to the river bank, and 
as soon as they had got there, the monkey jumped 
off the crocodile's back, and scrambled up into the 
tree. When he was well out of reach, he turned 
round and said with a jeer, " Go along with you ! 
as long as I am up here I am out of your clutches. 



120 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

Wise men say, ' There can be no friendship between 
creatures that live on land and those that live in 
the water.' " So the crocodile turned back and 
went sadly home, and the moral is : That he who 
has wit enough, can get out of difi&culties, whatever 
they may be. 



Story LXVIII 

In Vidyasthana, a Brahman village, lived a certain 
Brahman called Kesava. One day he was going 
to bathe in the lake, when he met the charming 
daughter of a merchant. He immediately fell in 
love with her. Soon after this he was coming 
back from his bath, and he met her again. She 
had a pitcher of water, and she asked him if he would 
kindly help her to put it on her head. He gladly 
assented and as he was helping her up with the jug, 
he kissed her. Her father happened to be close 
by, and saw this, so he summoned Kesava for 
assaulting his daughter. The Brihman was placed 
in a diificulty, but he had a friend whose name 
was Vitarka, and he hearing what had happened 
went to the Brahman and said : " My dear fellow ! 
Listen- to me; when you come before the court. 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 121 

mind you speak very indistinctly,' so' that no one 
can understand you." Well, Kesava followed his 
advice and the judge who could not make out a 
word he said, exclaimed : " I cannot see that this 
man is guilty of anything. Indeed, I should say 
he was a most respectable person." And so by 
the help of Vitarka's wit and friendship he not only 
escaped condemnation, but acquired a very good 
character. 



Story LXIX 

There was once a merchant, whose wife was named 
Vagika, and he was extremely fond of her. It so 
happened one day that her husband wanted a 
bath. She was getting it ready for him, when all 
of a sudden she saw one of her admirers going 
along the road. So, sa5dng that she had not enough 
water, she ran out of the house, pretending that 
she was going to get some more, and stayed out a 
considerable time with her friend. All this time 
her husband was waiting for his bath, and so the 
question for her was this, what excuse to make for 
her lengthened absence. She reflected for a moment, 
and then with a great splash jumped into the tank 



122 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

just outside the house — at the same time shouting, 
" Help ! I am drowning." Her husband heard 
the noise and the splash, and thinking to himself, 
" Hullo ! that wife of mine has tumbled into the 
tank," went and pulled her out, and brought her 
into the house, without making any remark, or 
asking her any questions. 

At the conclusion of these stories, Madana returned 
from his expedition, and was received by Prabhavati 
with every demonstration of affection. 

The Parrot said, very slowly and solemnly — 

" Affection in women means nothing ; pride in 
women means nothing : 

All the time that you have been absent, she has 
been my friend, and has been devoted to me." 

Madana heard what the Parrot said, but he did 
not pay much attention to it. The Parrot smiled 
and continued : " He who hears good advice and 
follows it, is blessed both in this world and in the 
next." Madana therefore was induced to ask the 
Parrot what he meant. Prabhavati at this felt a 
httle bit anxious as to what might come out, for 
it has been said — 

" The good are always bold sustained by con- 
sciousness of good. 

The wicked are always afraid, for their evil con- 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 123 

sciences make cowards of them." So Prabhavati 
said to her husband — 

" Sir ! your place has been well supplied, for 
in this house dwells a Parrot, who seems to have 
come direct from the abode of the gods, and who 
speaks words of wisdom. He has been even as a 
husband and son to me." 

The Parrot at these words felt a little ashamed 
of himself, for it did not seem to him that he had 
merited such compHments. So Madana turned 
to Prabhivati and said : " Pray, what were the 
words of wisdom with which the Parrot consoled 
you ? " 

She replied : " My lord ! a speaker of truth 
may be found, but it is not so easy to find a listener, 
for it has been said — 

" ' Men who say what is pleasant are always 
welcome : 

But those who tell unpalatable truths, will not 
find an audience. 

Women are unstable 5 they have little or 
no affection for their husbands ; they think much 
of themselves ; they are ignorant ; weak ; care- 
less in the performance of their duties. Women 
exercise their powers of attraction, and then 
when they have caught a man they draw him 
out like a j&sh in a net. They are as changeable 



124 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

as the waves of the sea, continually shifting like 
the evening clouds ; when they have gained their 
object they cast a man aside as a squeezed out rag. 
They enter a man's heart, and fill him with con- 
fusion, rage, deceit. What will not women accom- 
plish ? ' 

" Now, my husband ! hear me. After your depar- 
ture, for a time I kept you in remembrance, though 
there was separation between us. Then evil friends 
came by, and tried to lead me astray. This bird 
prevented my following after them, and held me 
back for seventy nights, by means of the stories 
which he told me. So I was prevented from follow- 
ing ray desires, and my designs of evil were not 
fulfilled. From to-day — whether in life or in death 
— ^you, my husband, shall be my chief object." 

At the conclusion of this harangue, Madana 
turned to the Parrot and asked what in the world 
it all meant. 

The Parrot answered : " Speech must not be 
uttered hastily by the wise ; those who know what 
is right and proper, must act accordingly. Sir ! 
I say nothing of the foolish, drunkards, women, 
persons afflicted with disease, those in love, the 
weak, the wrathful. The mad, the careless, the 
timid, the starving, such as these have but few 
virtues. There are ten who know not the way of 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 125 

righteousness — the mad, the careless, the drunkard, 
the feeble, the wrathful, the glutton, the hasty, 
the coward, the covetous, the lustful." 

"Pray grant Prabhivatt pardon for her short- 
comings ; indeed they were not her fault, but the 
fault of her evil companions. For it is said — 

" ' The virtuous fall into evil ways through 
contact with the depraved. 

Even Bhishma stole a cow under the influence 
of Daryodhana. 

The king's daughter was led astray by a Vidyi- 
dhara : but, though her fault was plain, she was 
forgiven by her father.' " 

The Parrot then told Madana the following 
story — 

" There is a mountain called Malaya, and on the 
top of it is Manohara, a city of the Gandharvas. 
In it hved a certain Madana, a Gandharva, and he 
had a wife whose name was Ratnivali. Their 
daughter was Madanamanjari. She was extremely 
beautiful and fascinating and every one who saw 
her absolutely lost his senses, whether god or hero. 
It was quite impossible to find a husband for her 
sufficiently good-looking. It so happened one day 
that a certain Narada came by ; when he saw her he 
was so fascinated by her charms that he went off 
his head. After a time, however, Narada, who was 



126 THE ENCHANTED PARROT 

a Rishi, came to himself, and he solemnly cursed her, 
in these words : ' Since the fire of passion has been 
kindled in me at the sight of your beauty, you shall 
be the victim of deceit.' Then her father, hearing 
the curse, bowed to the ground before the Rishi, and 
said : ' Sir ! show compassion on my daughter, and 
grant her forgiveness ! ' Narada replied : ' She 
shall indeed be deceived, but she shall not suffer 
loss, nor shall she fail in gaining a husband. On the 
top of Mount Meru is a city called Vipula, and in it 
dwells the Gandharva, Kanaprabha. He shall be 
your daughter's husband.' With these words 
Narada departed, and according to his promise 
Madanamanjari was given in marriage to the Gan- 
dharva. Soon after this her husband left her, and 
went on a journey to Kailasa. She was inconsolable 
at his departure, and lay full length on a stone slab 
in the courtyard of her home. Here she was seen 
by a Vidyadhara, who made advances of love to her. 
She declined them without hesitation, but he even- 
tually, putting on the form of her husband, accom- 
plished his object. Before long her husband 
returned, but it appeared to him that she was not 
particularly glad to see him. He thought that there 
must be some counter-attraction, and eventually he 
worked himself up to such a state of jealousy, that 
he contemplated putting an end to his wife's exist- 



THE ENCHANTED PARROT 127 

ence. So Madanamanjari, seeing her end in view, 
went to the shrine of the goddess DurgS,, and made 
loud lamentation. The goddess heard her complaints 
and said to her husband, ' Noble Gandharva ! 
your wife is guiltless : she was deceived by a 
Vidyadhara, who put on your form. Since she 
was ignorant of the real state of things, how could 
she be to blame ? Besides the cause of all this is 
the curse pronounced on her by the Rishi Narada. 
Now the curse is worked out, and since she is free 
from guilt you must take her back.' Hearing the 
words of the goddess, Kanaprabha took his wife 
home, and they lived happily together. 

" So, Madana," continued the Parrot, " if you 
have any confidence in my words, receive your 
wife kindly, for there is no evil in her." 

Then Madana, obedient to the Parrot's wish, 
took Prabhavatt home, and his father Haridatta, 
rejoicing at his son's return, made a great feast. 
While the festival was proceeding, a rain of flowers 
fell from heaven, and the Parrot — the adviser and 
confidant of Prabhavati — ^freed from the curse 
which had compelled him to wear a parrot's form, 
ascended to the abode of the gods, and Madana 
and Prabhavati passed the remainder of their lives 
in peace and happiness. 

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